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According to some estimates, the human microbiome may include 900–1,000 distinct species of microorganisms, creating an incredibly diverse array of microbial genomes. This diversity is reflected in the different microbial compositions of identical body parts, such as the right and left hands of the same person, as well as between individuals.

A typical hand's palm surface, for instance, can contain more than 150 different bacterial species, only 17% of which are present on both hands of the same person and only 13% of which are present on the hands of different people, according to one study.

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