“Extra Credit Simon Lax”


The seminar was about the microbial interactions taking place indoors as opposed to a more widely studied interactions taking place outside.  Though the seminar was fast-paced and a little above my pay-grade (of knowledge, I mean), I was able to discern two main aspects of his study.  The first part of his study was the one in which he sampled from 7 different homes across the US.  They varied not only in location and occupancy number, but also whether or not pets were included.  He expanded his “microbial fingerprint” study to include his own interactions with his cellphone.  The second part of his study was the the one where he looked at how microbes colonize and move about in the hospital environment.  He did this as there is a growing concern for hospital-aquired illnesses such as MRSA.

The one particular thing I found most interesting about the seminar is the forensics aspect of the first part of his study.  I think it’s fascinating to consider that we as individuals might have our own unique microbial signature or at least be able to distinguish between individuals based on that signature.  I have no critical comments about his material (what I could follow, being rather newly exposed  with the vastness that is microbiology). We have spoken briefly about anti-biotic resistant microbes in class, and it was interesting to hear him note at the end about a possible future study of antibiotic resistance in microbes located in hospitals.  One question I would have is if it is feasible that sometime in the near future that microbial “fingerprints” would be used in real world applications such as crime scene analysis and processing.