Selected Podcast

Sharing Biomes: Cohabitation & Your Skin

Sharing Biomes: Cohabitation & Your Skin
Your microbiome is collectively composed of all the microorganisms on and in your body. Certain bacteria, viruses and fungi assist in healthy living.

The gut microbiome is frequently in the news. But, you rarely here about the skin microbiome.

When you cohabitate with someone, you share a biome. A recent study at University of Waterloo collected 340 different samples from 17 body locations to determine microbiotic community similarities. Couples were matched with up to 86% accuracy through these samples.

Partners have the most similar biome on their feet. While the hands may come into contact with more microbes, we wash our hands constantly.

While the study focused on romantic partners, it wouldn’t be surprising for families and roommates to share some biome similarities.

It’s no surprise that people with pets have a more diverse skin biome.

Interestingly, samples from the inner thigh could not successfully match couples. However, these particular samples accurately classified gender in every instance.

Listen as Master of Science student and researcher Ashley Ross joins Dr. Pamela Peeke to share the results of the study.


Smarty Pants Vitamins
Featured Speaker:
Ashley Ross, Master of Science student at the University of Waterloo
Ashley RossAshley Ross is a Master of Science student at the University of Waterloo with four publications arising from her undergraduate and masters research. She was the recipient of the Canadian Society of Microbiologists Undergraduate Student of the Year Award, the CIHR – Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship, and two NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards. She will begin her PhD this September at the University of Guelph as a Vanier and Brock Doctoral Research Scholar.