Saturday, September 16, 2017

Poop Emoji Inspired Knit Hat

Dr. Katharine Ng studies the bacteria in our gut (aka poop)
I was inspired to knit this #knityourPhD hat for Dr. Katharine Ng who got her PhD studying how bacteria that live in the intestines respond to antibiotic treatment.

In work published in Nature, Dr. Ng and colleagues found that some pathogens in the gut can gain an advantage by eating sugars from the host. In the gut, there are sugars present but tied up in the mucus that is made to line the gut. Some non-pathogenic ("good") bacteria cut some of the sugars off of the mucus molecules. After antibiotic treatment, two pathogenic (bad) bacteria, Clostridium difficile and Salmonella typhimurium, are able to gain a foothold in the gut by eating the sugars that the good bacteria had liberated from the mucus. Her work provides insights for developing therapeutic treatments to prevent the bad bacteria from taking hold during antibiotic treatments. Read more about her PhD work here.

To study the gut bacteria, Dr. Ng collected a LOT of mouse poop for analysis and sequencing before, during, and after antibiotic treatment. To honor all of the poop collected, I used the poop emoji as inspiration to design this hat with 6 poops around the hat. I added a pom pom on the top for some extra character. You can get the pattern here on Ravelry, on Craftsy here or directly here. Happy stitching!

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