We are so ignorant about our bodies and what lives on them that our observations, scant though they may be, have outpaced our theory. Just what microbes live on any given individual and why is not known. It is not even well speculated upon. Because we are just beginning, we are in that wonderful phase of science when radical hypotheses are not only hard to rule out, they are useful, necessary and oh so fun. If you have ideas about what governs the patterns from person to person and around the world in microbial composition, offer them here. As we move forward, we have the possibility to test not only the hypotheses we come up but also yours too. And so look at the microbes we have found so far, take your field notes and offer your hypotheses. With time, we will update the images her with data on which lineages are present in which belly. When we do, we can begin to test hypotheses. In the meantime, hypothesize away.
Most people think of cities as the opposite of nature, but the truth is that urban areas are teeming with life. Crows, dandelions, and squirrels – to name just a few – are not most people’s idea of wild life, but all sorts of species are found in cities. We see the pigeons and the house sparrows all around us on a daily basis, but because biologists have generally avoided studying the species found in cities, we actually know next to nothing about the ecology of urban species.
Listen to Rob Dunn talk about bacteria art in a Studio 360 podcast.
Listen to podcast (starts at the 25:35 minute mark)
Recorded LIVE at The Monti on January 14, 2010. Rob Dunn killed it with a hilarious story about finding inspiration in the most unlikely of places!