About Microbiomes & Roller Derby !

“Are we really distinct individuals? Or are we just part of a vast overlapping cloud of microbes?

Is there such a thing as individuality…or are we actually all One…”

Here is a link to a recent publication entitled “Significant changes in the skin microbiome mediated by the sport of roller derby”. The paper investigates the origin of the diverse communities of bacteria living in and on our skin, as well as the impact of human contacts on its composition. By studying and sampling Roller Derby players, the investigators reached the following results:

  • “A lot of research in this field happens in hospitals looking at sick people sharing their pathogens, when really most of us are covered with mostly really good bacteria that we share all the time,” said study author James Meadow, a researcher at the Biology and the Built Environment Center at the University of Oregon. “So this is a way to look at how healthy people share entire communities rather than just sick people sharing pathogens at a hospital.”
  • “Initially everyone carried this strong signature of their team, I think most likely because of geography, but as they came in contact with one another that signal wore off, and they became more similar to one another”.
  • “We were able to sample a pretty strong effect before versus after the bout, but we don’t know what happened the next day or the next week, and I think that would be a really interesting part of this,” said Meadow.

Simply fascinating !


1. Meadow, J.F., A.C. Bateman, K.M. Herkert, T.K. O’Conner, and J.L. Green. 2013. Significant changes in the skin microbiome mediated by the sport of roller derby. PeerJ

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