Humans colonize their homes with microbes, not the other way around

Microbes are everywhere. They live on and inside us, and cover most things we come into contact with, including our personal belongings. We also know that microbes play a role in human health, and the destruction of our personal microbial community (known as our microbiome) is thought to be contributing to the rapid rise of certain diseases.

The research shows humans affect the microbial populations of their surroundings rather than the other way around.

Studying the dynamics of microbial transmission revealed that, more often than not, humans are the microbial vectors, or transporters. When we move into a new house, rather than acquire microbes from the new location, we bring our unique microbial profile with us.

Andrew Holmes, a microbial ecologist from the University of Sydney, said the results indicate microbial communities on household surfaces are “ecologically inert.” Rather than harboring actively growing microbes, he said, surfaces “are continually reloaded with what you had already growing in and on you.

“To put it another way: We inoculate the house, rather than the house inoculating us,“ he said.

Read the full, original story: All happy families are microbially alike

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: Deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than reported estimates

Infographic: Deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than reported estimates

More than 2.8 million people have lost their lives due to the pandemic, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis ...

Gilles-Éric Séralini: Activist professor and face of anti-GMO industry

The French biologist and his research team--funded by the Rodale ...
vandana shiva

Vandana Shiva: ‘Rock Star’ of GMO protest movement has anti-science history

In a 2012 interview, Bill Moyers referred to Vandana Shiva as ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend