On belly button fluff

As you’ll have heard on the LabLit podcast, Jenny swabbed her belly button at the Science Online conference, all in the interests of science. You can find out why from Meg Lowman’s blog on Belly Button Diversity. Now, being the gentleman I am, I’m not going to tell you what (if anything) grew there—but here’s a picture of what grew from my own swabbed button:

Belly button culture

Well, what can I say? Looks like there’s a few skin-dwelling staph, as you might expect, but a rather low number of critters eating my fluff. Unlike some of the other filthy geeks I rubbed shoulders with that weekend <shudder>.

You can read what some of those filthy geeks think of it all at Rob Dunn‘s blog; as for me, I’ve said enough.

About rpg

Scientist, poet, gadfly
This entry was posted in Science-less Sunday and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to On belly button fluff

  1. steffi suhr says:

    Well, is your belly button an innie or outie? That would obviously be a confounding factor here – more or less nooks and crannies for critters to get into, and maybe even differences in oxygen availability…

  2. Frank says:

    On first sight I thought that was a Scotch pancake.

    Somehow belly button fluff seems like a very suitable topic for blogging about…

  3. Steve Caplan says:

    Imagine what we would have seen on the plate if it hadn’t had ampicillin and kanamycin on it…

  4. Jenny says:

    If that’s what the Scots are having for breakfast, then…
    no, I don’t want to sound like someone on Top Gear. Never mind.

    There were a whole host of confounding factors. In my view, it would have been better with a wet swab, not a dry one. And there was no guidance about how long the swab should dally there. But an interesting public engagement idea in my view!

  5. nico says:

    Agree with Jenny, dry swab for wet sampling area and vice versa. On a plate with no antibiotics you can press your finger and have a nice image of your fingerprint in just 24h, that one’s always popular with school kids!

  6. Steve Caplan says:

    Could it be that while you rubbed shoulders with “filthy fellow science lovers”, your own fluff might be highly enriched in….fungi!

  7. rpg says:

    OK, now I’m squicked.

Comments are closed.