Let Me See You Sweat #526

June 07, 2019

Image from Max Winkler

Summer is coming, and summer means sweat. Why do we sweat so much, and how do we do it? We hear from Yana Kamberov about the evolutionary origins of our sweat glands, and why it's one of the things that makes us mammals. Then we talk about why some (but not all) of our sweat STINKS. We'll speak with Gavin Thomas about the bacteria that give us our BO.

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This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.


  • Yana Kamberov
  • Gavin Thomas
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Guest Bios

Yana Kamberov

Yana Kamberov is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania from which she received her Bachelor's degree in Biology and Anthropology, reflecting a deeply held interest in understanding the biological basis for how humans have evolved. She went on to carry out her graduate work in developmental and chemical biology as a student in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program at Harvard Medical School in the laboratory of Malcolm Whitman. After, she became a post-doc in the lab of Cliff Tabin in the Genetics Department of Harvard Medical School. Her research i focused on the genetic basis for the evolution of adaptive human skin traits and the biological mechanisms that control the development and patterning of skin appendages, bridging developmental with evolutionary genetics and genomics. Yana joined the Departments of Genetics and Dermatology at Penn in 2016 where her lab's research focuses on the genetic mechanisms governing the development and evolution of skin and reproductive traits.

Gavin Thomas

Gavin Thomas is a microbiologist based at the University of York since 2002 and has worked for over a decade on bacterial transport systems. His research, primarily funded by the BBSRC, has revealed fundamental information about an important class of bacterial transporters called TRAP transporters, particular in the context of their function in human pathogens. More recently the lab has focussed on more diverse families of transporters related to industrial biotechnology and bioenergy through work with Green Biologics and Unilever.