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I have got one assignment to calculate the approximate sum total of all cells in the human body. How to tackle this problem? I know that the current statistics is $10^{13}$ cells. I wanted some hints.

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  • $\begingroup$ @kmm Actually I don't know where to start. $\endgroup$
    – dexterdev
    Aug 24, 2014 at 13:09
  • $\begingroup$ yes I calculated it by dividing the volumes. Volume of average human body / avg. volume of a mammalian cell. Around 10^14 cells. $\endgroup$
    – dexterdev
    Aug 24, 2014 at 13:56
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    $\begingroup$ So that's larger by only one order of magnitude. Not that bad for a rough approximation. $\endgroup$
    – ChrKoenig
    Aug 24, 2014 at 14:12

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This is a classic Fermi estimation problem. The usual approach is to estimate the volume of a body, estimate the volume of a cell, and divide one by the other, remembering of course to have both volumes in the same units.

My quick attempt gave 1013 to the nearest order of magnitude.

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