In the Name of Science! SVRG Participates in Microbiome Research
SVRG traveled to Eugene, Oregon in February 2012 to participate in The Big O, a tournament hosted by the Emerald City Roller Girls and the Lane County Concussion Men’s Flat Track Roller Derby. In addition to posting three wins, members of SVRG consented to participate in a study about microbiology.
Researcher Jessica Green, Director of the Biology and Built Environment and Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Oregon, who skated as Thumper Biscuit for Emerald City, combined her love of derby with her love of science. The researchers swabbed members of Silicon Valley, Emerald City, and the DC Rollergirls before and after bouts during the three-day weekend. The researchers found that prior to a bout, a skater’s team could be identified by the composition of bacteria on her skin. After a bout, bacteria had been shared between opposing skaters such that it seemed to demonstrate person-to-person transmission.
The article, "Significant changes in the skin microbiome mediated by the sport of roller derby" (Meadow et al, 2013), is available from PeerJ here. Kate Clancy, The Anthrobrawlogist of the Twin City Derby Girls and Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, breaks down the science from a roller derby perspective over at Context and Variation.
Watch the short teaser video about the study. Can you spot some of your favorite Silicon Valley Roller Girls?