Germophobia story of the day: Newsweek and Marissa Rothkopf Bates on “Gadget Lust”

Well, just saw this: Gadget Lust: Keeping the Germs (and the Hypochondria) at BayI know this article is partly an attempt to be funny (which I think it succeeded at) but even so, the level of germophobia is pretty astonishing.  Actually, though I cringe at germophobia many of the things discussed in this article are perhaps not completely over the top on their own.  For exampe, the camelbak travel water filter seems potentially useful.  The trayguard for the airplane tray seems a but much but I guess I can see why someone might want one.  The phone sterilizer seems silly unless (1) you share your phone with lots of other people or (2) you use your phone to clean the bathroom.  But it is really the sum total of the germophobia that gets me with not even a mention of the concept that killing all germs may not always be the best idea.  Oh well …

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Jonathan Eisen

I am an evolutionary biologist and a Professor at U. C. Davis. My lab is in the UC Davis Genome Center and I hold appointments in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology in the School of Medicine and the Department of Evolution and Ecology in the College of Biological Sciences. My research focuses on the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). To study this I focus on sequencing and analyzing genomes of organisms, especially microbes and using phylogenomic analysis (see my lab site here which has more information on lab activities).  In addition to research, I am heavily involved in the Open Access publishing and Open Science movements.