Improbable Research is "calling all bearded scientists near DC" to convene this weekend to meet Manuel Barbieto, the first author on a study that aimed to assess the " microbiological laboratory hazard of bearded men." Barbieto and his colleagues at the Industrial Health and Safety Office in Frederick, Md., showed in a 1967 Applied and Environmental Microbiology paper that laboratory scientists' "beards [retain] microorganisms and toxin despite washing with soap and water," and that "although washing reduced the amount of virus or toxin, a sufficient amount remained to produce disease upon contact with a suitable host." Improbable Research asks that attendees bring their cameras "to help document this historic occasion," as Barbieto's talk at the American Association for the Advancement of Science's annual meeting will be his "first public presentation — ever — about the research," and because "all bearded scientists in the room will be invited to shake hands and swap bacteria." Additional event details are available here.
Is Your Beard a Biohazard?
Feb 19, 2011