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Dandruff-Causing Skin Fungi Discovered Unexpectedly in Deep Sea Vents, Antarctica

Until relatively recently, the fungus Malassezia was thought to have one favorite home: us. As the dominant fungus on human skin and sometimes-cause of dandruff, the yeast Malassezia was thought to live a simple if sometimes irritating domestic existence humbly mooching off the oils we exude.

No more. Thanks to the efforts of scientists over the last 10 years, we have discovered that our sweet little skin fungus is actually a cosmpolitan extremophile as at home on your scalp as in deep-sea sediments, hydrothermal vents, stony corals, lobster larvae guts, Japanese eel gut and muscle tissue, Antarctic soils, the exoskeleton of soil nematode worms, and various plant roots including orchids, who are known for being picky about their root fungi.

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