Sure the Internets are full of all sorts of distractions (Awkward Family Photos, anyone?)
But there are some interesting, thought-provoking gems in there too. Recently, I’ve noticed a number of cool news stories and blog posts relevant to our quest to understand the microbial wild life of our homes (and bodies).
We usually tweet about these sorts of things that catch our eye, but from time to time I’ll take a little space here on the blog to pull together a reading list for y’all.
As Rob Dunn is fond of saying, “We know so little.” There is so much that remains to be discovered about the diversity of life on Earth, particularly when it comes to microbes: those living on us (the human microbiome) and quite possibly on every surface of the planet (the Earth microbiome).
Here’s a few things about the wide world of microbes that caught my attention this week:
- Cosmic Log: Scientists map the world’s microbes: Alan Boylegives a nice run-down of scientists’ quest to map and quantify the Earth’s microbiome, reporting from the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Vancouver, Canada, last week.
- Too Clean? Try Bacterial Wipes! Over on Scientific American’s Symbiartic Blog, artist Kalliopi Monoyios ponders the hygiene hypothesis and the mounting research about the necessary role of ‘good’ microbes in our daily lives. She wonders if one day we’ll find Bacterial Wipes on the shelves of the supermarket cleaning products aisle.
- What comes after antibiotics? Antibiotics seem to be everywhere – in our hand-soap, fed to farm animals destined for our dinner plates, on our doctor’s prescription pads. The overuse (and sometimes inappropriate use) of antibiotics has led growing numbers of disease-causing bacteria down the path of antibiotic resistance. And unfortunately, it looks like there aren’t many new antibiotic wonder drugs in the development pipeline. John Rennie explores what therapeutic options we might have in the future, including how we might be able to manipulate good microbes to fight the bad.
- A Science Miniseries: The Big Story of Alcohol, Civilization, and a Little Fungus: Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the 6-part Science Miniseries Rob wrote for Scientific American’s Guest Blog on the microbial magic of yeast. (We’re an inclusive group here at Your Wild Life – fungi are microbes too!) From ancient civilizations to fruit flies, poured libations to termite balls, fungus farms to cave art, Rob reveals the big story of the little fungus.
What interesting things have you read lately relevant to the wild life of your every day life? Don’t be shy! Share stories that pique your interest – via Twitter, Facebook, and the blog’s comment section (it’s been awfully quiet there so far – hint, hint).