I came across this…”ten million trillion trillion” and mentally stopped dead.
Finding phages is not in itself particularly challenging: they are by far the most abundant biological entities on earth. According to one estimate, there are ten million trillion trillion phages, which is more than every other organism, including bacteria, combined. The average teaspoon of seawater holds five times more phages than there are people in Rio de Janeiro; for every grain of sand in the world, there are a trillion phages. But the best place to find phage that will kill drug-resistant bacteria is where people or animals have shed them—in other words, sewage.
That’s a gigantic number—actually, exceeding an “order of magnitude” greater than gigantic….
Quote is from “When a Virus Is the Cure,” by Nicola Twilley, in the December 21, 2020 issue of “The New Yorker,” and dated December 14, 2020. [This link may work.]