Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Hey, Pigpen!

Remember Pigpen from the Peanuts comics? The little kid that walked in a cloud of dirt, everywhere he went. Well science now reveals that not only do we ALL have a cloud that follows us around, everywhere we go, but that it is as unique as a finger print. It tells who we are, what we have done and where we have been. The name?

The name is the MICROBIAL CLOUD. According to a study published in *PeerJ, researchers at the University of Oregon were able to use samples collected from 11 subjects sitting in a climate and air controlled chamber to identify them correctly. So, what does this mean? Since microbes are emitted from our pours and openings (you know what I mean), in our breath and other bursts of air (you know what I mean) ... they hang in the air surrounding us as we move around. Additionally, microbes from others that we interact with, attach themselves to our clothes and our skin.
“We give off a million biological particles from our body every hour as we move around. I have a beard; when I scratch it, I’m releasing a little plume into the air. It’s just this cloud of particles we’re always giving off, that happens to be nearly invisible.”
I am hopeful that research will affirm that our emotional states (whether tranquil or erratic) produces positive or negative charged microbes and that these microbes explain the phenomenon known as EMOTIONAL CONTAGION. Toastmasters, perhaps this explains why some individuals visit our clubs and either feel comfortable or ill at ease. They could be responding to our collective microbial clouds.

The environment we create impacts our members, prospective members and visitors in unseen ways. Keep in mind when we leave the meeting, we literally take a bit of each other with us. When we greet each other, we are not only creating emotional connections but physiological imprints upon each others microbial clouds. When I was just a tike, I used to dress up in my dad's clothes ... now I understand that his physiological imprint remaining on his clothes became a part of my cloud. The lesson for all of us, be cognizant of who you share your personal space with and how you interact, it ALWAYS leaves an impression.

*Meadow et al. (2015). Humans differ in their personal microbial cloud. PeerJ 3:e1258; DOI 10.7717/peerj.1258