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Go Play in the Dirt

Evidence accumulates from various sources about the different hazards of our unnaturally scrubbed clean and urban environments. The mechanism is not always so clear, although suggested by a study recently described from Finland in which researchers found that research subjects living in rural settings had a greater diversity of normal bacteria living on their skin  - oh yes, our healthy skin hosts many bacteria - and a lower sensitivity to allergens than urban residents, or folks living near water, not trees.

The researchers wonder if one particular skin bacteria, Acinetobacter, is key to immune regulation as reflected in health levels of the inflammatory marker IL-10 found in countryside-living subjects.

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