Humans living underground – doesn’t look like fun, but interesting topic for #microbiome work

Heard this story on NPR yesterday:  ‘A Universe Beneath Our Feet’: Life In Beijing’s Underground : NPR.  It discusses the growing trend in Beijing for people to be living in apartments / basements comlpetely underground.  This is happening for multiple reasons and it clearly has some potential big consequences.  It does seem like a possible important area for “microbiology of the built environment” studies as these apartments seems be on the extreme edge of certain building parameters (e.g., no windows, unusual air flow, lack of natural light, very damp, etc).  Could make an interesting comparison to other studies of built environments and their microbiology.

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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.