Wine can be sophisticated, classy and robust
— but in it’s awkward teenage years it totally has acne too. [[MUSIC]] Hey gang, Trace here for DNews — Acne is
pretty gross. It happens when a human pore gets clogged and pus builds up inside that
clogged pore. Considering we have literally millions of pores on our skin it’s rather
amazing we don’t have zits more often! They can be caused by excess skin lipids or accidental
rapid cell division. Normally, bacteria on the skin just hang out, feeding on sebum we
produce to lubricate our hair shafts. But when the follicle gets clogged more bacteria
show up and can cause inflammation. The bacteria in question is called Propionibacterium
Acnes, and it’s a completely normal thing to have growing on human skin — somewhere
it probably shouldn’t be growing though, is on the grapes from which we get the nectar
of the gods… wine. And yet… scientists in Italy have found human acne bacteria on
wine grapes. The kicker is, it’s not actually the same bacteria, it’s an adaptation… basically
it evolved to live in a new place. Propionibacterium acnes type Zappae lives
in the bark and pith of the grape vine. It gets its name from Frank Zappa, because the
Italian scientists who discovered it were listening to a Zappa album at the time. The
scientists know P. acnes type Zappae is related to the human version, because there are gene
markers in its DNA. They traced its genetic history to when they were one species living
on human skin, 7,000 years ago! This aligns with the time humans were first beginning
to cultivate grape vines! The discovery is INTERESTING because speaks
to microorganisms ability to adapt to new environments and lifestyles to propagate themselves.
It’s NOTABLE because it is the first time ever, when a HUMAN bacteria jumped to a plant.
Chances are ancient peoples planted the grape vines, and infected them with P. acnes. The
scientists believe the type Zappae has since infected every grape vine in existence, thanks
humans. Geez. Most importantly, this infection probably
happened 7,000 years ago when grapes were first taken from the Middle East. While yes,
there is acne bacteria all up on those grape vines, it’s not a food safety thing. They’ve
been there for as long as we’ve been growing them. They’re friends! In comparison, humans
have had acne for more than 10,000 years! King Tut had acne treatments in his tomb!
It’s not going to hurt the grapes, but more study is planned to find out how a human infection
crossed over onto plants… How do you feel about this? Need a drink?
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