I know we've all wondered about this, especially in the age off COVID-19. Now, after centuries of study, scientists have finally found the answer.
"Short answer: If youre wearing pants, you should be fine."
"Back in 2001, a nurse asked Australian science author, educator, and commentator Karl "Dr. Karl" Kruszelnicki the same question. She wanted to know if she was contaminating the operating room she worked in by silently farting throughout procedures, Discover reports.
To get to the bottom of the matter, Kruszelnicki contacted Canberra microbiologist Luke Tennent. Tennent asked one of his colleagues to fart directly into two Petri dishes from a distance of five centimetersfirst while wearing pants, and then a second time au naturel. While the first Petri dish stayed clean, the second one sprouted bacteria overnight, which seemed to suggest that clothing acts as a barrier between whatever bacteria might be expelled by a fart (not all of which would be contained within the gas itself). Dr. Karl reported the findings in 2014 in the satirical holiday issue of the scientific journal BMJ, noting:
"Our deduction is that the enteric zone in the second Petri dish was caused by the flatus itself, and the splatter ring around that was caused by the sheer velocity of the fart, which blew skin bacteria from the cheeks and blasted it onto the dish. It seems, therefore, that flatus can cause infection if the emitter is naked, but not if he or she is clothed. But the results of the experiment should not be considered alarming, because neither type of bacterium is harmful. In fact, they're similar to the friendly bacteria found in yogurt."
There's much more information at the link for those who are interested in the science of flatulence. I ran across this by accident. Really. I'm not consumed with flatulence, so stop saying that! (All apologies to Bob Boudelang).
That is all. Resume your wailing and gnashing of teeth.
This answers the age old question about who is training who.
You know how your heart melts whenever a pup raises its eyebrows? Thats no accident. While research on non-human animals has long suggested that facial expressions are involuntary, it turns out dogs may be different, and like humans, able to control their facial expressions to get what they want. Are you really surprised?
In a 2017 study published in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers tested whether dogs illustrated the audience effect. They found that dogs reacted with more noticeable facial expressions when humans were around than when there were no humans around, suggesting that dogs use facial expressions to voluntarily communicate.
A team of researchers at the University of Portsmouth Dog Cognition Centre devised an experiment to investigate whether dogs facial expressions are subject to audience effects, which simply means that they wanted to see whether dogs made different faces when they thought they werent being watched. This would suggest that theyre voluntarily controlling their facial expressions, changing what we know about animal behavior.
The alternative, that dogs are simply making involuntary faces that express their excitement, sadness, or anger, has been the standard view.
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