Since most people don't wash their bellybutton, it is a safe haven for bacteria to live undisturbed. A group of biologists and science communicators from North Carolina State University and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, wanted to know what kind of germs and bacteria live on people. The scientists have asked volunteers to submit swabs of their belly button bacteria so as to learn about the "personal ecosystem" living with us.
Why begin with the belly button?
Because no one volunteers when we ask for armpit samples. Because our belly buttons are relatively isolated, a place where microbes are safe. Because everybody has one, its what once connected us to our past. Yet, we barely notice it in our daily lives, to the point that few people actually wash theirs. Which is great for the bacteria! They are well protected, and provide a refuge of our wild nature. We can ask many questions about the microbes on our bodies (what controls which live where, whether the species on men and women are different, whether innies and outies sport different fancies, etc.) but a first step is to simply see who is there, the way the first explorers, upon arriving at new continents, simply wrote home to describe what they found.
|Brains of the Elderly Are Slower Due to Massive Amount of Information Stored|
|Japan eyes solar station in space as new energy source|
|How Entanglement Could Be Deterministic|
|New 'Drake equation' for alien habitats|
|Lava Pour No. 5: Pouring Lava Over Ice|
|“The race is on to create lab-grown meat products.”|
|“Google Owns 28% of Your Brain.”|
|“If the tech industry gets its way, none of your stuff will be yours anymore.”|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|“A novel experiment by a government to work with journalists and educators to combat the spread of online misinformation.”|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|“We’ve received requests to add some artificial noise to the buses so that people can hear them.”|
|“When Life Gives You Lemons.”|
|Bird Shit Advertising|
|Darth Vader Surfing|
|“Both spacecraft are still operational when they reached interstellar space.”|