Boggart Blog must now be one of the leading sources of information on scientific research in the blogosphere. We have in the past reported on Snack Science,Mouse Science, Fish Science, Crocodile Science, Hockey Stick Science, Cosmic Science, Blundering Around In The Dark Science and many other backwaters of research that the mainstream media will not trouble themselves with.
From the satirical tone of many of our reports and the headline above you might well think we take the view that all science is shit but you would be wrong. There is a lot of research going on of which we wholly approve. Projects aimed at making fatsally’s and my cars use less fuel and go faster are always welcome. Some areas of medical research (though not the project to grow human sperm in mouse testicles) are very worthwhile especially if they offer the prospect of achieving the greatest good for the greatest number rather than simply swelling the profits of pharmaceutical corporations and giving nerdy, publicity seeking, money grubbing world domination freaks a crack at (Ig)Nobel Prizes.
One type of science not mentioned in the list above and of which we wholly disapprove is the science of stating the absolutely effing obvious. An example of this is the scientific breakthrough of the week revealed in the online science mag livescience.com Your poo is unique) They publish a report claiming your shit is as unique as your fingerprint or your DNA.
Really? No shit Sherlock. After spending the last few years telling us we are all automatons, preprogrammed machines whose individuality is an illusion and for who a one-size-fits-all solution to every problem can be provided by “science” now they seem to be falling over themselves to tell us how different and unique we are. Obviously they science community have mustered enough nous to understand that we know we are not all the same, we are not just a number or a set of numbers and if they keep insisting we are we will believe nothing the blinkered, reductionist little shits tell us. And so they are finally getting their shit together and starting to acknowledge the truth.
A recent study by neurologists showed we are not all biological computers who if we can be taught to give up religion, superstition, love of football, golf, reading, beer or music could be reduced to mathematical equations but highly complex life forms driven more by experience and emotion than by logic and reason. As if that did not come as a big enough blow gastrologists (shitologists) have found the scientific maxim “everybody’s shit stinks” in not necessarily true. Everybody’s shit is different, some stinks to high heaven, some smells like a freshly mown meadow and legend has it that former England footballer Gary Lineker’s was scented with perfume.
The research shows the bacteria that colonise the intestine are even more unique and identifier than DNA. While identical twins will share identical DNA according to experts, the genetic skidmark of faecal matter is absolutely unique to the individual. This PooNA is formed of viruses that inhabit the digestive tract. Viruses consist of genetic material packaged inside a capsule structure and can only reproduce inside a host cell. Thus the viruses formed inside and individual and passed out of the body in poo can never be the same in two individuals.
The report goes on to say:
“The study sheds light on the largely unexplored world of viruses living in the lower intestine. Most of these “friendly” viruses, which don’t cause diseases, make their home inside bacteria already living in the gut. These viruses are thought to influence the activities of gut microbes, which among their other benefits, allow us to digest certain components of our diets, such as plant-based carbohydrates, that we can’t digest on our own.”
Unexplored worlds eh?. This is really clever stuff. Wasn’t their a movie once about a team of scientists who shrank themselves and took a trip in a microscopic submarine through somebody’s veins? We could build a similar vehicle to explore somebody’s poo. I guess it would have to be more like one of the boring machines used in making tunnels. Constipation can get pretty bad in people who don’t get enough fibre.
So as we the punters have been telling these reductionist scientists for years we are all different, we are all individuals (Haven’t they seen Monty Python’s Life Of Brian) what will we learn that may be of benefit to the human race from this new awareness of the way our individualism is expressed through our ploppies? Not much apparently, but we will learn a lot about the lifestyle of intestinal viruses and how they interact with intestinal bacteria.
Which is nice.
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