The Secret World Of Microbes

Oct 26, 2016

They live in every nook and cranny of your body, from your belly button to your armpits. A new exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences explores the secret world of human microbes. Host Frank Stasio speaks with biologists Julie Horvath and Rob Dunn about the implications of microbial diversity for human health, and about Frank’s own armpit ecosystem.

Stasio swabbed his armpits live on Facebook, at the museum's Genomics and Microbiology Research Lab. Horvath then cultured his armpit microbes in the lab to create colonies showcasing microbial variety . Horvath says human armpit microbes are less diverse than primates, pointing to differences in both evolution and daily activities. Stasio's armpit plates are on display at the exhibit, along with plates from other local personalities. That exhibit runs until March 12, 2017.