Lewis Thomas

lewis thomas

My mitochondria comprise a very large proportion of me. I cannot do the calculation, but I suppose there is almost as much of them in sheer dry bulk as there is the rest of me. Looked at in this way, I could be taken for a very large, motile colony of respiring bacteria, operating a complex system of nuclei, microtubules, and neurons for the pleasure and sustenance of their families, and running, at the moment, a typewriter.

Not to mention the vast number of actual bacteria that swarm our bodies, which are 10 times the number of our own native cells. Jeez, do we have any right to call ourselves an animal?