News & Blogs In the end, we're ALL dirty kids, eh?

Brother X

caput gerat lupinum
Joined
Apr 5, 2015
Messages
308
Current Location
Planet Earth
Website
www.thepsychopath.org
;)
--------
Your Body Is Surrounded by Clouds of Skin and Fart Bacteria


gettyimages-470628165-582x386-jpg.25771_In the end, we're ALL dirty kids, eh?_General Banter_Squat the Planet_5:40 AM


Everywhere you go, in everything you do, you are surrounded by an aura of microbes. They drift down from your hair when you scratch your head, they fly off your hand when you wave to your friend, they spew out of your mouth when you talk. Even when you sit around doing nothing, you’re sitting in your own, personal microbial bubble.

Made up of millions, billions, trillions of bacteria, yeast, cells, and cell parts, this bubble is actually more like a cloud—a cloud, new research suggests, that is unique to you. And as gross as it is to imagine everyone around you shedding microbial bits and pieces into the air, studying those clouds can be useful for people like doctors tracking down disease outbreaks and cops tracking down criminals.

The gut microbiome, often invoked in expensive probiotic-heavy diets, is probably the hottest microscopic community right now. It’s the collection of microbiota, living inside you, that helps you break down food, fight disease, and control your hunger.

But your outer body has its own microbiome, too. Your body is covered in skin, and that skin is like a vast savannah populated with millions of exotic critters. They feed on the oils seeping from your skin, dead cells, bits of organic matter, and each other. “In a single centimeter of skin, you can find thousands of bacteria,” says James Meadow, former Oregon State University researcher and co-author of a microbiome paper published today in the journal PeerJ.

Combined, the non-you cells in your body outnumber the you cells by about10 to one. And if some sadistic scientist were to grind up and sequence all the DNA in every cell in and on your body, only about 2 percent of the genetic material would be human. The rest is microbes.

Your microbiome cloud is what happens when your body liberates those gut and skin microbes. “If I scratch my head, thousands of skin cells, cell fragments, bacteria, and fungi get airborne,” says Meadow. When you pick your nose, burp your ABCs, or signal your compliments to the chef, gut microbes join the cloud. And, sorry if you were eating, but your farticles are also a medium for all the gut microbes living in you. Quoting Stanford microbiologist Stanley Falkow, Meadow says, “The world is covered in a fine patina of feces.”

Meadow and his co-authors wanted to know if this combined cloud was detectable, and whether its DNA signature varied significantly between individuals. So they did a pair of experiments, both involving people sitting in sterilized rooms.

In the first, each of the subjects sat for four hours playing on a laptop while a circle of air filters captured their bacterial clouds. The researchers collected the screens and used chemicals to burn away everything except their DNA.

After they saw how much data they’d gotten in the first experiment, the scientists decided to repeat it with more volunteers. These second experiments were exactly the same, except the volunteers only spent 90 minutes in the room, and the researchers collected samples with floor dishes instead of screens. (The researchers used interstitial experiments to show the floor dishes captured roughly the same thing).

Now, bacteria easily get stirred up the currents and eddies you create as you walk around. “If you are close enough to shake hands with someone, you are in their microbial cloud,” says Meadow. “When someone walks by and you feel breeze, that’s taking your bacteria with them.” That means you share microbes with your coworkers, your family members, and the people you ride the train with.

So how different could individuals’ microbial clouds really be? The two trials showed that, at least in these 11 people, microbial clouds varied significantly from person to person. They also found that different people shed microbes at different rates.

“We know that every person has this unique microbiome profile and that they shed it into the environment,” says Jack Gilbert, a microbiologist at Argonne National Laboratory who has done a lot of work looking at microbial clouds. This study is the first to pare that uniqueness down to the genetic level.

That knowledge will help shape microbiome cloud research in fields like contagious disease and forensics. In hospitals, nobody really knows how germs spread. Since leaving Oregon State University, Meadow has joined a biotech company in San Francisco that wants to use the understanding of microbial clouds to help hospitals prevent things like MRSA outbreaks.

Cops see other opportunities for the microbial cloud. Gilbert has been helping crime scene investigators use microbial residue to track down criminals. He says people pick up microbes from the soil, the air, the food they eat, and the water they wash and drink with. So an individual’s unique microbial signature could put them at the scene of a crime—or exonerate them if the microbes in their cloud match their alibi.

At least, in theory. “That would rely on a much more extensive database than currently exists,” says Gilbert. With the Earth Microbiome Project, Gilbert is building a biogeographic database to fill in the gaps. So in a few years, scientists won’t have to drill down into your DNA to figure out what is you. Like Pigpen from Peanuts, you’ll carry a fog of identity wherever you go.

Link: http://www.wired.com/2015/09/body-surrounded-clouds-skin-fart-bacteria/
 

About us

  • Squat the Planet is the world's largest social network for misfit travelers. Join our community of do-it-yourself nomads and learn how to explore the world by any means necessary.

    More Info

Support StP!

Donations go towards paying our monthly server fees, adding new features to the website, and occasionally putting a burrito in Matt's mouth.

Total amount
$100.00
Goal
$100.00

Monthly Goals

  1. Paying the Bills
    $50.00 of $50.00 - reached!
    The first $50 in donations go towards paying our monthly server fees and adding new features to the website. Once this goal is reached, we'll see about feeding Matt that burrito.
  2. Buy Matt a Beer
    $75.00 of $75.00 - reached!
    Now that we have the bills paid for this month, let's give Matt a hearty thank you by buying him a drink for all the hard work he's done for StP. Hopefully his will help keep him from going insane after a long day of squishing website bugs.
  3. Feed Matt a Burrito
    $100.00 of $100.00 - reached!
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt has a beer in his hand, how about showing him your love by rewarding all his hard work with a big fat burrito to put in his mouth. This will keep him alive while programming new features for the website.
  4. Finance the Shopping Cart
    $100.00 of $200.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt is fed, perhaps it's time to start planning for those twilight years under the bridge... if only he had that golden shopping cart all the oogles are bragging about these days.

Latest Status Updates

Been away for a while, crazy 12 hour field days are finally over. Time to write part 2 of my experience! Coming soon!
It’s sign flyin time baby 🤑
Hoteled up tonight..thank Jesus crust
I hate Oregon sooooo much! I really need to get out of here sooner than later really badly!!!!!!!
😥😱😴
Haven't posted in over a year. In Taos, not sure where I am going. Would love to find a woodshop to work in for a bit, wherever
I had to finish my nail polish before heading out of town, and finally got enough sunlight to do so!
It's not that I wanted to be a quitter, it's that I wanted to live to ride another day.
I’m leaving Salem today, by any means necessary 🖖🏼
Sorry for the absence; I'm a scatterbrained motherfucker. Currently in Portland OR for the evening, heading toward Seattle. Who's around? 🤘
Cigarettes ☠ /or/ Tear soaked cheeks 💗

About us

  • Squat the Planet is the world's largest social network for misfit travelers. Join our community of do-it-yourself nomads and learn how to explore the world by any means necessary.

    More Info

Monthly Goals

  1. Paying the Bills
    $50.00 of $50.00 - reached!
    The first $50 in donations go towards paying our monthly server fees and adding new features to the website. Once this goal is reached, we'll see about feeding Matt that burrito.
  2. Buy Matt a Beer
    $75.00 of $75.00 - reached!
    Now that we have the bills paid for this month, let's give Matt a hearty thank you by buying him a drink for all the hard work he's done for StP. Hopefully his will help keep him from going insane after a long day of squishing website bugs.
  3. Feed Matt a Burrito
    $100.00 of $100.00 - reached!
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt has a beer in his hand, how about showing him your love by rewarding all his hard work with a big fat burrito to put in his mouth. This will keep him alive while programming new features for the website.
  4. Finance the Shopping Cart
    $100.00 of $200.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt is fed, perhaps it's time to start planning for those twilight years under the bridge... if only he had that golden shopping cart all the oogles are bragging about these days.

Forum Statistics

Threads
23,943
Messages
218,577
Members
8,721
Threads in last 24 hours
7
Messages in last 24 hours
64
Members in last 30 days
946
Latest member
MissAnnThrope