New Project: The Life of Pants

Do clothes contribute to body odor?

Let’s be real: I have body odor, you have body odor, we all have body odor.

Most of us can at least vaguely remember that time during our awkward preteen years that our parents made us aware of our smell and introduced the concept of deodorant. I’ve been applied deodorant daily, been aware of and at times self-conscious of by body odor for almost two decades, yet, it never occurred to me to investigate the cause of this odor and how my activities are affecting it. As a microbiologist, I know that […]

By | June 21st, 2016|armpits, Participate, Projects|2 Comments

Quiz Time!

Everyone loves a good quiz – even the Buzzfeed variety, you know the kind that you see on Facebook ALL. THE. TIME. The kind of quiz that helps you determine what actor would play you in a movie of your life or what literary couple best represents you and your significant other.

Recently, we’ve seen a couple of quizzes that are not only FUN but, GASP, might provide an opportunity for you to learn something interesting about the biodiversity in your daily life.

Last week, the NY Times Well blog ran a story (written by former post doc and YWL […]

Delayed Gratification, Citizen Science and Why You Might Not Have Received an Email about Your Sample Yet

But, If You Are So Willing, You’ll Receive Emails and Updates for the Next 10 Years. Also, Did I Tell You about the Cats?

I do not have any particular predilection for delayed gratification. I can’t watch YouTube videos because I don’t like not being able to control the pace and see where I am going. I don’t like departmental seminars because almost inevitably one can read the paper faster (and get to the good parts) than one can listen to the talk. Actually, this is too meek of a statement. I actually hate departmental seminars. My wife is patient. My […]

How to turn any dataset into a glowing worm

A few decades ago gene expression, the process by which the code books of genes are turned into proteins, was invisible. It happened in every living thing, but where and when a particular gene was being expressed was a complicated secret nature was reluctant to reveal. Then came Martin Chalfie, who I recently had the great pleasure to meet as part of seminar at North Carolina State University (whereupon he told me this story). Chalfie was studying nematodes, those transparent little worms that dwell in soil, on skin and even in tap water, but are best known for […]

Exciting opportunity in the Genomics and Microbiology Lab at NC Museum of Natural Sciences

As many of you know, we partner with the awesome folks in the Genomics and Microbiology Lab at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences on a number of public science projects: belly button biodiversity, armpit microbes, face mites and soon soil microbes (as part of our new Students Discover education project).

With so much public science and more, they’re looking for a little help on the research and science communication front.

Below is an advertisement for a one-year Research and Outreach Coordinator position – They’re looking for a dynamo with a background in molecular biology, […]

Plating Pit Microbes

Over the last few days, we’ve shared updates and observations from #PitStart, a pilot study examining the effects of deodorants and antiperspirants on armpit microbes, coordinated by our friends in the Genomics and Microbiology Lab at the Nature Research Center.

You may have heard our scientists and volunteer participants mention plates of their armpit bacteria. By plates, we’re referring to petri dishes – not dinner plates – that contain a special nutritious medium on which the microbes can grow. You got a close-up of my plates from the first day of #PitStart as well as those […]

Diary of a PitStarter

**Today’s post features observations from a brave volunteer in the armpit pilot study (aka #PitStart), David de Souza.**

When I heard that the scientists in the Genomics and Microbiology Lab at the Nature Research Center at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences were looking for citizen scientists to take part in a fun experiment to “meet” the bacteria that grow in one’s armpit, my childhood curiosity was piqued and I jumped at the chance.

I live close to the Museum and I have an online business, which means I can work from home, so I thought […]

By | September 4th, 2012|armpits, Projects, Your Wild Life Team|0 Comments

We’ve Got the Funk

**Today’s post is written by Liz Baird, enthusiastic PitStart participant and Director of Education for the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.**

I have the privilege of leading educator trips to the tropics. At about Day 4 of hiking in the rainforest, slogging through mud and climbing in caves, a certain odor starts to pervade the bus/cabin/dining hall… and a rousing chorus of “We’ve got the funk, got that jungle funk” is appropriate (apologies to Positive Force). A discussion ensues – What causes that smell? Is […]

By | August 30th, 2012|armpits, Projects, Your Wild Life Team|2 Comments

Not All Pits Are Equal

Yesterday, Dr. Julie Horvath introduced you to our Armpit Microbe Pilot Study, known as #PitStart to those of you following along in real time on Twitter. Before we start asking thousands of you to send in smelly Q-tip’s that you’ve twirled around in your armpit, we need to work out a few methods. Namely, we’re concerned that some deodorants and antiperspirants inhibit bacterial growth – this was Julie’s personal experience when she tried to plate out her armpit microbes a few months ago.

So Dr. Julie H. and Dr. Jul Urban, the Assistant Director of the

By | August 28th, 2012|armpits, Audio, Projects, Your Wild Life Team|19 Comments

It’s the Pits

**Today we have a guest post from Dr. Julie Horvath, Director of the Genomics & Microbiology Research Laboratory in the Nature Research Center, the new wing of the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.**

As a primate comparative genomicist I study primate DNA sequences and compare them to humans and other non-human primate DNA sequences. I am very interested in connecting how changes in DNA sequence (genotype) can alter a human or animal’s outward appearance or characteristics (phenotype).  Many of my research projects focus on connecting DNA sequence changes with behavior, anatomy, and ecology.

By | August 27th, 2012|armpits, Events, Projects, Your Wild Life Team|9 Comments

Intern Diaries: Studying armpits in a fish bowl

*Today we have a guest post from yet another awesome undergraduate working with Your Wild Life team – Megan Ehlers has been spending her summer as an intern at the Nature Research Center*

On some days, I feel like I am under more pressure than Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible. I’m an intern in the Genomics & Microbiology Laboratory at the Nature Research Center at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. I work in a shiny new lab, surrounded by high-tech machines used for DNA analyses, the likes […]