Saturday, April 16, 2011

Belly Button - Innie? Outie? Petri Dish!

Specimen 1234
Navel, umbilicus, belly button? Some people don't just stare at them. Jiri Hulcr and a team of investigators at NC State have launched the Belly Button Biodiversity project.  The projects seeks to raise awareness around microbiology and show that not all bacteria are harmful. Hulcr also thinks the belly button is an ideal sampling site to investigate the human microbiome. He aims to sequence the 16S ribosomal RNA from each sample.

I know Mike just suggested that all human carnivores be placed in contact precautions, but seeing what grows in belly buttons, I think pretty much everybody should be isolated.  Or perhaps we can just wear little antibacterial N95 masks to cover them up?

NewScientist April 1, 2011
Belly Button Biodiversity Project

h/t Mark Vander Weg

1 comment:

  1. Ah, my alma mater at work. That being said, why wouldn't the belly button be a great place to sample. We have sampled less attractive site (rectum anyone). All information is good information, even if it is a crazy concept. Who knows, perhaps we will find a reservoir for a pathogen of concern and will be doing universal belly button screening.