Yes Virginia, there is a paper on microbial transfer during beer pong

Well, normally I would avoid writing about non open access papers here since I like to write about papers all readers can have access to.  But I am making an exception here for the entertainment value of the matter.  The paper is: Bacterial transfer to beverages during drinking games: ‘beer pong’ – International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health – Volume 5, Number 2/2015 

First they surveyed bacteria on ping pong balls and then they studied the transfer of bacteria from such ping pong balls to beer, if they were immersed in the beer.  Apparently, the microbes indeed could transfer to the beer.  I am guessing this was a student project – meant to be a bit tongue in cheek and to have some fun.  And that is how I will view it.  There are plenty of projects on microbes in our environment which can be educational, informatics, and fun.  Though I do wish they also looked at some other college games with microbiomes angle … but maybe those are on their way.

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Jonathan Eisen

I am an evolutionary biologist and a Professor at U. C. Davis. My lab is in the UC Davis Genome Center and I hold appointments in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology in the School of Medicine and the Department of Evolution and Ecology in the College of Biological Sciences. My research focuses on the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). To study this I focus on sequencing and analyzing genomes of organisms, especially microbes and using phylogenomic analysis (see my lab site here which has more information on lab activities).  In addition to research, I am heavily involved in the Open Access publishing and Open Science movements.