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  • Near the turn of this century, scientist Georg Steinhauser had a problem.

    就在即將邁入這個世紀時,科學家 Georg Steinhauser 有一個疑問。

  • He was fascinated by the question: Why do some belly buttons collect more lint than others?


  • But no one knew the answer.


  • So for three years he collected his own belly-button lint to find out.


  • And after interviewing friends and analyzing 503 of his own samples, Steinhauser discovered the culprit: stomach hair.

    在訪問朋友並分析了 503 份自己的樣本後,Steinhauser 發現:原來都是腹部上的毛做的好事。

  • It scratches off tiny T-shirt fibers and directs them towards the belly button.


  • So that might be one mystery solved, but lint isn't the only thing inside these bizarre human crevices.


  • Your belly button is a scar, your very first one.


  • It forms when a doctor snips your umbilical cord, and, depending on how it heals, you could have an outie or, more likely, an innie.


  • And innies are ripe for colonization, not only by lint, hair, and dead skin cells, but also by bacteria.


  • In one study, 60 volunteers swabbed their belly buttons.

    在一項研究中,60 位自願者用棉花棒從他們的肚臍取樣。

  • Researchers then analyzed the samples and found more than 2,300 kinds of bacteria.

    研究人員接著分析這些樣本,發現了超過 2300 種細菌。

  • That's an average of 67 different kinds per belly button.

    平均下來每一個肚臍裡就有 67 種不同細菌。

  • Now, many of those microbes aren't unique to belly buttons, like staphylococcus, which can lead to staph infections.


  • It shows up in noses, throats, hair, and, yes, even belly buttons.


  • But the researchers also discovered other bacteria never before seen on human skin, like marimonas, which scientists had previously only seen in the ocean.

    但研究人員也發現了從未在人類皮膚上看過的細菌,例如 marimonas,從前只在海洋中發現過。

  • And they even found bacteria that chefs use to make cheese, and, yes, somebody did exactly that.


  • She grew the belly-button bacteria in a petri dish and then added it to milk.


  • Sure enough, after a few hours, the milk curdled into cheese.


  • Belly-button Brie, anyone?


  • Now, for the most part, the microbes in your navel are harmless.


  • In fact, recent studies suggest that bacteria on your body may strengthen your skin's defense system.


  • But if you never clean your belly button, they'll grow unencumbered, and that can be a problem.


  • The best-case scenario is that your belly button will start to smell.


  • When common navel microbes, like corynebacterium, build up, they emit pungent odors, similar to body odor.

    一般的肚臍微生物 (例如棒狀直幹菌類) 堆積起來時,會散發出強烈的氣味,類似於體味。

  • But the worst case is that your navel will get infected, not just by staph but also by microbes that cause strep throat and yeast infections.


  • That's right, you can get a yeast infection in your belly button, which can lead to itching and redness, and cause a clear or off-white discharge to leak out, which almost looks like cottage cheese.


  • So how does that cheese sound now?


  • While microbes colonize your belly button from the outside, there could also be an invader from the inside.


  • We're talking about belly-button hernias.


  • In the womb, the umbilical cord runs from your mom to you, passing through an opening in your abdominal muscles.


  • Normally that opening seals up after you're born, but, in some cases, it never really closes all the way.


  • This can allow internal organs to slip through, creating a bulge behind your belly button.


  • Navel hernias affect as many as one in five newborns in the US, but they're rarely life-threatening, and are far less common in adults.


  • In fact, as long as you rinse your belly button with warm, soapy water once a week, the worst you'll have to put up with is a little fluff.


Near the turn of this century, scientist Georg Steinhauser had a problem.

就在即將邁入這個世紀時,科學家 Georg Steinhauser 有一個疑問。

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在你肚臍裡的這個東西...可以拿來做起司? (What's Inside Your Belly Button)

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    April Lu 發佈於 2019 年 07 月 14 日