Extra Credit: Simon Lax

Simon’s seminar was primarily concerned with analyzing our personal relationship that we share with the microbes present in our surrounding environment. As he states very early on in his presentation, the microorganisms in which encounter in our day-to-day lives greatly shape our own microbiome and our immunological health. Our microbiome and our relation to our microbial sources is significantly changing as we become an “indoor species.’ It is estimated that the human species spend about 90% of their time indoors. As Lax states, this change is resulting because these particular “built’ environments are simulated to limit the amount of microbial growth.

His personal research regarding this field of study consisted of various sample collections from different sources throughout candidates’ households. 16S RNA sequences  were targeted to analyze the resemblance of the human micrbiome with their innate surroundings. The results of his research indicate that the surfaces in these test subjects’ homes strongly resembled the microbiome of the individual. For example, he discovered that the floors of the home in which they reside.

Despite the fact that I had a little difficulty following this lecture, I found that the concepts he touched on were rather fascinating. I was very interested in his remarks concern an individual’s “microbial signature.’ It was really interesting for me to consider how an individual’s microbiome is subject to change once they leave their built environment. I feel that this research that he has conducted thus far has been rather supplemental to the field of microbiology, by allowing us to consider how our environment impacts of individual microbiome. It also reiterates the importance of microorganisms to the human body and the important role they possess in our daily lives.