Stir-Fried Stochasticity Ep.02: “Bio-Boogers”

A slime-covered handAfter getting rave reviews from nearly four people for the pilot episode, I’m hopeful that Episode Two will be even better. (Seriously – I don’t think more than a handful of people even know this project is going on, but the few people who’ve listened and commented to me have been very encouraging so far.)

You can listen to and/or download the audio directly in either they shiny new spiffy Ogg Vorbis format or old-school .mp3 by clicking right here. As always, I’d very much appreciate comments, suggestions, questions, amusing limericks on the subject of the paper, etc. – feel free to post below, or you can email me at the usual location: epicanis+sf at

This episode’s paper: Ding WK,Shah NP:”Effect of Various Encapsulating Materials on the Stability of Probiotic Bacteria”;2009;J. Food Sci.;vol.74 #2; pp M100-M107. Enjoy!

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The Author is (currently) an autodidactic student of Industrial and Environmental microbiology, who is sick of people assuming all microbiology should be medical in nature, and who would really like to be allowed to go to graduate school one of these days now that he's finished his BS in Microbiology (with a bonus AS in Chemistry). He also enjoys exploring the Big Room (the one with the really high blue ceiling and big light that tracks from one side to the other every day) and looking at its contents from unusual mental angles.

4 thoughts on “Stir-Fried Stochasticity Ep.02: “Bio-Boogers””

  1. Sounds like it’ll be interesting. I’ll be sure to check it out when I have time. Probiotics are going to play an increasing role, IMO, in health care … so this is a timely discussion (probably why they made it).

  2. I tend to agree – I’m actually somewhat surprised that I haven’t ever heard of anyone trying to develop “Natural Flora Skin Lotion”. I suppose the natural flora of the skin is less well understood than that of the gut, perhaps?

  3. There have been a couple of metagenomic studies which have looked at the natural flora of the skin, and it is one of the environments being studied in the Human Microbiome Project. The problem with a “natural flora skin lotion” is that one size will not fit all. While you will have some main players, the skin flora (species and strains) will change depending on where you live.

  4. I vaguely recall hearing somewhere that the difference in natural flora of the skin between people is substantially more different than the difference between different people’s gut flora, so it’s plausible – I wouldn’t rule out there being a selection of microbes that would work well for most people, though (not a “total floral replacement” sort of thing. I’m thinking the skin equivalent of “live-and-active-culture yogurt” rather than the equivalent of “fecal transplant”…)

    Though the idea that the cultures would need to be customized on an individual basis has an odd amount of appeal to what greed I possess – open up a “medical spa” and charge rich people a fortune for customized treatments to make their skin pretty. Genius! And here I though the joke about someone specializing in “Diseases of the Rich” was impractical…

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