White House Announces Microbiome Initiative

Jessica Green was among a small group of experts assembled recently by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to discuss the status of microbiome research. The event coincided with the launch of the National Microbiome Initiative, a call to action to advance microbiome science. The Obama administration announced steps to advance understanding […]

Wherever You Go, Your Personal Cloud Of Microbes Follows

Remember Pig-Pen? The little kid from Charles Schulz’s Peanuts cartoons who walked around in a cloud of dirt? Well, the human body does spew a cloud, but instead of dirt it contains millions of microorganisms. “It turns out that that kid is all of us,” says lead researcher James Meadow. “It’s just a microscopic […]

Designing a Hospital to Better Fight Infection

Every building appears to have its own unique microbiome, depending on how it is built and operated, who uses it and what they do there, said University of Oregon microbiologist Jessica Green, who helped pioneer the field. “We know microbes in buildings are relevant to human health,” she said. In hospitals, for example, the air that […]

Mobile phones carry owners’ bacterial ‘fingerprint’

More than 80% of the common bacteria that make up our personal bacterial “fingerprints” end up on their screens, a study suggests.  “We are ultimately interested in the possibility of using personal effects as a non-invasive way to monitor our health and our contact with the surrounding environment. We share more than an emotional connection […]

Your Microbiome Extends in a Microbial Cloud Around You, Like an Aura

Understanding the interplay between the microbial cloud and environment could form the basis for attempts to better engineer indoor spaces to prevent the transmission of diseases. “We could potentially design our buildings around that. If we know there’s an airborne disease risk, maybe we could develop ventilation accordingly,” says James Meadow. Places like hospitals or […]

How Architecture Could Shape Your Microbiome

Biologists and architects both look at the world in terms of networks: How do people move through and interact with a building? How do microbes move and interact in a space? “What our study does is makes it clear that we can design buildings to influence the types of bacteria,” we come into contact with, Meadow […]

Architecture May Influence Which Microbes Surround You

We will always be outnumbered, but we may have a say in which microbes we’re surrounded by, according to a new study that’s one of the first to investigate how building design influences the microbial diversity of indoor spaces. “Design choices at the level of a whole building make a really big impact on the […]

Your Microbe Aura Could Be as Distinctive as Your Fingerprint

A new study looks at the unique collection of bacteria that hangs in the air around each of our bodies.

“As soon as there’s a person in the room, you start to find things like staphylococcus or streptococcus, things that we all have on us,” said James Meadow, the paper’s lead author and a scientist at […]

Creating a Healthier, More Sustainable World

The What’s Next Health series features leading thinkers and visionaries who see issues a little differently. Jessica Green of Phylagen talks about microbiomes and how the built environment can help create a healthier world.
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Washington Post highlights PeerJ Publication

Do you ever feel like you’re all alone in the world? Well, don’t. At every moment of your life,you’re surrounded by a cloud of bacteria. These microbial companions are so unique to you that the cloud — which you leave traces of everywhere you go — might actually be as identifiable as a fingerprint.

In […]