Extra Credit: Simon Lax

Summary: Simon Lax began his seminar by stating that our relation to our microbial sources are changing significantly due to the fact that we are becoming an indoor species. According to him, humans are spending about 90% of their lives indoors! This is causing such a change because indoor environments are created to limit the growth of microbial life. Simon told us about the Home Microbiome Study that was done in order to have a better understanding of the relationship between our own skin and microbes found in our indoor environments. This study seemed to have found certain microbes that could be almost used as a “fingerprint’ to help track the way in which humans transport microbes. This study led to a follow up study where Simon collected samples from personal belonging such as phones in order to see a relationship between the microbes observed. Lastly, was a study in a hospital to track the pathway of microbes from the beginning of the day to the end.


Reflection: I found this seminar to be pretty difficult to follow along with as it was pretty fast paced. However, I really enjoyed the concepts of the presentation. Since starting this Microbiology course, I have become more aware and curious about the microbes on and around me in my everyday life, so I find this topic to be extremely interesting. I would love to experience something similar to the hospital study because so many people come in and out of those doors and there must be such a diverse population of microbes. It would be so fascinating to see how microbes work their way from the doors and throughout the building.