Where is your boundary? At this level of scale, my boundary is my skin and we are separate beings bounded by our skins. But at the cellular level, every time you have shaken someone’s hand, hugged them, kissed them today, you’ve exchanged some of your microbiome. And, in fact, if you live with anyone at home (including your pets), you share a single living microbiome that’s a single entity. Within a few days everyone’s microbiome sort of flows into everyone else’s. So at the cellular level, your boundary is actually kind of the room you’re in.

Neil Theise

Neil Theise, MD is a diagnostic liver pathologist, adult stem cell researcher, and complexity theorist in New York City, where he is Professor of Pathology and of Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and attending physician at the Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center. He received his BA in Oriental Studies (Judaica/Hebraica) and a BAS in Computer Science from University of Pennsylvania before earning his MD from Columbia University.

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