Simon Lax Extra Credit

Summary:  In his presentation, Simon Lax provided background information to provide insight into he did for his research, such as information on 16s rRNA. The basis of his research examined the microbial communities in buildings, such as houses, and how those microbes resembled the people that inhabit those places. There seemed to be similarities between the microbes found on people and the microbes that were found in the houses that he sampled from, and looking into the role that people play in transporting microbes. Hospitals are another place that could show how microbes flourish because nurses are tending to patients that could be infected with bacteria or other types of microbes. Even though hospitals and other health care facilities are constantly cleaned and sterilized, that may encourage antibiotic resistance because the bacteria and other microbes are trying to find away to keep reproducing.

Reflections:  Although informing, Simon Lax presented his information in a really fast-paced manner which made it really hard to follow what he was explaining. The results were very in-depth and there was a lot to take in to comprehend. The main thing that made it hard for me to listen to his presentation was the fact that he talked so fast. I thought it was interesting how the results showed similarities among what microbes were found in the houses and on the people that lived in those houses. Also, it seemed as though the microbes that are found on our skin and in the place that we live in are influenced by the lifestyle that we live, whether we have pets or spend a lot of time outside. When he reached the portion of the presentation about the types of microbes in the hospital, it made sense that microbes can build up antibiotic resistance because they grow on surfaces that are constantly sterilized indicating that the bacteria and other microbes need to find a way to survive. These microbes survive by building up resistance to whatever the hospitals use to sterilize the surfaces. In class, we have learned that microbes grow where there are optimal conditions, meaning that they grow where the environment is best for them. If people are spending a lot of time in certain areas, the microbes inhabiting those places are going to travel with the person to potentially be introduced to other optimal environments. One question that popped in my mind while listening to Simon Lax’s presentation is: how would this study contribute to reducing the chance of getting a disease while in a hospital, or another “sterile” place? What could this study suggest about people’s lifestyles?