Science poos all over Nature
Image via the Centers for Disease Control
In respective articles on the discovery that human bodies and, in particular, human guts, “harbor viruses as unique as the people they inhabit,” Nature and Science faced off today in a clash that displayed vast ideological differences. The battle ground? The correct representation of the word “shit” in scholarly context.
In the latest exploration into the universe of organisms inhabiting our bodies, microbiologists have discovered new viral genes in faeces. They find that the composition of virus populations inhabiting the tail ends of healthy intestines (as represented in our stools) is unique to each individual and stable over time.
The researchers collected and purified the poop three times over the course of a year—to better track the microbial community’s changes over time—and then sequenced the viral DNA, or viromes, the poop contained.
In the great poo standoff between the major science journals of America and Britain, the American version wins. Sorry, Britain (also: you misspelled “feces”).
Poop: The Scientific word for shit.