Monday, February 26, 2024

After an ear piercing, your skin microbiome changes in a big way Science

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The first study of the skin burrowing microbiome (the microbiome is the sum of human or other organisms living on the skin or in the gut) reveals how sudden perturbations such as burrowing can trigger fundamental ecological change. Increases biodiversity, lays the foundation for the development of burrows. A model for understanding how communities respond to rapid environmental change.

From the perspective of the bacteria, eukaryotes, and other microscopic organisms that call the skin home, a puncture is as catastrophic and terrifying an event as a giant earthquake or meteorite strike, and this has been demonstrated in microbial analysis.

Self-engineering of the ecological landscape

In a study conducted by a team from Canada’s McGill University, researchers for the first time introduced science to an unexpected environment, a tattoo parlor. In this first characterization of the human borehole microbiome, the unique human cultural practice of the borehole serves as a model system to better understand how biological communities reassemble after environmental disturbances.

The piercing process usually starts by disinfecting the skin and removing the microbes from it, then creating a new environment for the piercing, which is different from previously unpierced skin, and acts as a “clean slate” for colonization of new microbes. Social.

Charles Shaw, a doctoral student in biology who led the study, said in a press release from the university. Piercing the skin also represents an accidental act. “From Self-Engineering to Environmental Landscape in Human Skin.”

From October 2019 to March 2020, researchers recruited 28 people who had their ears pierced at a specific location in Montreal. Then, skin swab samples were collected before the participants got their ears pierced and several times during the two weeks after the piercings.

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A sudden event like ear piercing can drastically alter the skin microbiome (Shutterstock).

Understanding the biological effects of environmental phenomena

The results of the study, published in the journal Royal Society B, highlight how a sudden event like piercing can radically change the skin microbiome. Compared to unpunctured control cases, the puncture site showed an increase in the number of unique DNA sequences and species, indicating an increasingly diverse and ecologically complex microbiome at the puncture site, dominated by two opposite types of bacteria.

With this new understanding of the microbe that penetrates the skin, the study lays the groundwork for further research into the prevention and control of other types of piercing, tattoo microbe and skin infections, says Xu.

Looking beyond the human body, Shaw’s supervisor Professor Rowan Barrett said such studies could help understand the biological consequences of large-scale catastrophic environmental events.

“The hole represents a good model that can be followed to better understand the general processes associated with community assembly after environmental change,” he adds.

Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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