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Unread Feb 7th, 2007, 10:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Human skin harbours unknown bugs
Human skin is a "virtual zoo" of bacteria, say researchers who have identified more than 200 species in samples taken from the forearm.
About 8% of the species were previously unknown, according to the study published online in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The team at New York Medical School used genetic analysis to work out what bacteria were present.
Microbiology experts said bacteria had a vital role in keeping skin healthy.
In the past our knowledge of bacteria has come from observing what happened when cells were grown in culture in a Petri dish.

The skin is home to a virtual zoo of bacteria
Professor Martin Blaser

But researchers now have much more sensitive techniques at their fingertips.
Recent work has looked at what bacteria are present in areas such as the gut and the mouth.
Study leader Professor Martin Blaser, professor of microbiology, and colleagues extracted ribosomal DNA from bacteria found in skin samples taken from forearms of six volunteers.
They amplified the rDNA and used markers to pick out genetic regions specific to different species of bacteria.
Participants were swabbed again eight to 10 months later to see if there had been any changes.
New types
In the first set of analysis, the team found 182 species of bacteria, but at the repeated test a further 65 showed up.
Just over half of the bacteria found in the skin samples belonged to species that were already known to be common - Propionibacteria, Corynebacteria, Staphylococcus and Streptococcus.
And 8% were species that had not previously been described in the literature.
Almost three-quarters of the total number of bacterial species were unique to individual volunteers, suggesting the skin is "highly diversified".
Professor Blaser said: "Over the years maybe about 50 different organisms have been found in human skin but we knew there were organisms present that we couldn't grow. "We have gone up five-fold from what's been known before."
He now plans to repeat the study in people who have certain skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema.
"The skin is home to a virtual zoo of bacteria. I see this as a form of explanation to see what's there."
Dr Richard Bojar, principal research fellow at the skin research centre, said there had been an explosion in the number of different bacteria identified because of better technology, but it did not necessarily have a clinical application.
"We have now got such a broad range of organisms. But these studies can't tell you how much are there.
"We now need to look at how we can use the technology usefully."
He added: "The microflora in your skin is important to keep your skin healthy but these days people tend to take more showers and use chemicals."
"The ancient Romans wiped on olive oil and wiped it off which gives you very good skin."

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/h...th/6333137.stm

Published: 2007/02/06 07:52:15 GMT

© BBC MMVII
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Unread Feb 7th, 2007, 10:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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i dont expect to get much reaction to this but i thought this was very interesting.. maybe it's a certain sense of omnipotence at the thought that there are animals living on me or off of me... it makes me feel better as a human being.. i ought to take better care of their enviornment.. and i'm sure they help me in ways i can't yet imagine
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Unread Feb 7th, 2007, 10:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Makes me think of the futurama episode where bender has a tiny civilisation living on him and he is their god...
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Unread Feb 7th, 2007, 10:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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crap i prolly washed shitloads of unknown species down the drain in the shower this morning
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Unread Feb 8th, 2007, 02:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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YES! you go skin! ;p
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Unread Feb 8th, 2007, 07:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Interesting to think about.
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Unread Feb 8th, 2007, 09:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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OMG, right now i have thousands of creatures on my skin!!
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Unread Feb 8th, 2007, 09:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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acctually... we are made up of thousands if not millions of differnt cells all with an idividual concious..... it is only because of all these cells working together along with our brain and nervous system.... that we are concious and sentient....

We are litterally an observer in this organism we call a body.... and we only get 1 per life time.... so why not take care of it?
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Unread Feb 9th, 2007, 10:53 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah we are hosts to heaps of lil microscopic critters. Golden Staph is the worst of all and thankfully can't cause too much trouble until it gets in our bloodstream. It is the most common post operative infection and pretty scary when it starts manifesting itself, I know cos it happened to me http://au.health.yahoo.com/041101/25...*****967673055

Bacteria like to grow in warm moist places hence body odour announces the presence of large numbers of bacteria colonising under our armpits. My doctor actually reccomended to me to use an antibacterial wash under arms and groin to minimise bacterial growth. GO triclosan!(that's the active ingredient in most antibacterial washes) I use it daily and every time I wash my hands, I guess I'm not such a good host Dust mites are pretty good at cleaning up our flaked off skin cells as they use them or us as their primary food source but can cause allergic problems.http://www.cellsalive.com/mite.htm Thankfully we don't carry them around with us. The one freakish lil critter we do host that I could do without is the demodicid though http://www.worsleyschool.net/science...creatures.html...yeeeeeech lil varmint. That photo of three of em drilling into a hair follicule makes me squirm a bit *runs off to take a shower*
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Unread Feb 9th, 2007, 11:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Yeah we are hosts to heaps of lil microscopic critters. Golden Staph is the worst of all and thankfully can't cause too much trouble until it gets in our bloodstream. It is the most common post operative infection and pretty scary when it starts manifesting itself, I know cos it happened to me http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/B...h?OpenDocument

Bacteria like to grow in warm moist places hence body odour announces the presence of large numbers of bacteria colonising under our armpits. My doctor actually reccomended to me to use an antibacterial wash under arms and groin to minimise bacterial growth. GO PHISOHEX! http://products.sanofi-aventis.us/ph.../phisohex.html I use it daily and every time I wash my hands, I guess I'm not such a good host Dust mites are pretty good at cleaning up our flaked off skin cells as they use them or us as their primary food source but can cause allergic problems.http://www.cellsalive.com/mite.htm Thankfully we don't carry them around with us. The one freakish lil critter we do host that I could do without is the demodicid though http://www.worsleyschool.net/science...creatures.html lil varmint. That photo of three of em drilling into a hair follicule makes me squirm a bit *runs off to take a shower and scrub face with phisohex *
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Last edited by Wootman : Feb 9th, 2007 at 11:32 AM.
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Unread Feb 9th, 2007, 01:19 PM   #11 (permalink)
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In our intestines there are millions of bacteria. We live in a symbiotic relationship with them. They help us break up roughage and fiber. Yogurt actually has these (live cultures) in them, and people who have a deficiency usually eat a lot of it to get better. They actually produce gas as a byproduct and make us fart .

Yes, there are many living things in us that help us survive. Pretty cool, isn't it?
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Unread Feb 10th, 2007, 01:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wootman
Yeah we are hosts to heaps of lil microscopic critters. Golden Staph is the worst of all and thankfully can't cause too much trouble until it gets in our bloodstream. It is the most common post operative infection and pretty scary when it starts manifesting itself, I know cos it happened to me http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/B...h?OpenDocument

Bacteria like to grow in warm moist places hence body odour announces the presence of large numbers of bacteria colonising under our armpits. My doctor actually reccomended to me to use an antibacterial wash under arms and groin to minimise bacterial growth. GO PHISOHEX! http://products.sanofi-aventis.us/ph.../phisohex.html I use it daily and every time I wash my hands, I guess I'm not such a good host Dust mites are pretty good at cleaning up our flaked off skin cells as they use them or us as their primary food source but can cause allergic problems.http://www.cellsalive.com/mite.htm Thankfully we don't carry them around with us. The one freakish lil critter we do host that I could do without is the demodicid though http://www.worsleyschool.net/science...creatures.html lil varmint. That photo of three of em drilling into a hair follicule makes me squirm a bit *runs off to take a shower and scrub face with phisohex *
freaky dude. sometimes i wish i had never learned about these types of organisms.
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