Yowsa!  It’s been awhile since we’ve done a Reading Round-up. Here’s some good stuff we read (and watched) this week related to the biodiversity we encounter in our daily lives:

  • Allergies: What’s biodiversity got to do with it? Is there a link between the environmental biodiversity around your home and the microbes that live on us? Is your sensitivity to allergens somehow related to your exposure to environmental biodiversity? Might the functioning of your immune system then be linked to the microbes living on your skin (which in turn might influenced by biodiversity exposure)? Finnish ecologist Ilkka Hanski and colleagues took a stab at answering these questions in a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Their work builds on the hygiene hypothesis – the idea that “modern living” and our increasing disconnectedness from nature might be responsible for the uptick in allergies and autoimmune diseases (something we’re also trying to investigate in the Wild Life of Our Homes study). Here’s a nice non-technical summary of the study from ScienceNOW.

We want to hear what cool things you’ve been reading about the biodiversity in our daily lives. Comment below or holler  via Twitter or Facebook. Happy reading!