Why do we need a skin Microbiome Project?

The Skin Deep: Skin Microbiome Project is citizen backed, non-profit scientific research, and a way for the public to become involved in science.  All of the proceeds raised from this campaign will go to supporting the scientists and students who run the experiments, collection and analyze the data.  For example a large proportion of donations will support student training in bioinformatics.  

Obtaining your skin microbiome data now, while one is healthy can provide a baseline profile for future comparisons.

Data will be analyzed objectively and placed into a context that can address specific scientific hypotheses.  For example, we would like to know what constitutes a “healthy” normal microbiome in humans.  Does this differ from one geographic locale to another?

In the future, this study could expand to include other skin locations to assess deeper variation across a single individual.

Understanding natural variation across space and time will be necessary to test the utility of the skin microbiome in future research.

Nova Southeastern University is a private non-profit University (www.nova.edu)


The Skin Deep Microbiome Project

Figure 2

General bacterial diversity patterns of different human body areas summarized from Costello et al (2009). Each point represents a single microbial community based on hundreds of bacterial 16S rRNA gene reads.  The wider spread of points among skin samples (pink dots) indicates a wider diversity of bacterial strains and species compared to the compact spread of the mouth (green), gut (blue) and earwax (red) microbiomes.