Sunday, February 11, 2007

Mah gadlu maasecha

How little we know ourselves, what vast legions of complexity and beauty thrive beyond the acuity of our attentions. Even on the surface of our forearms. The Post reports on a new study.

"Blaser's team swabbed an area of skin about the size of silver dollar on the right and left forearms of three healthy men and three healthy women. They then used sophisticated molecular techniques to amplify and analyze fragments of bacterial DNA captured by the swabs.

The analysis revealed 182 species, the researchers reported. Of those, 30 had never been seen. They identified an additional 65 species when they sampled four of the volunteers eight to 10 months later, including 14 new species."