Don’t Cry. Don’t Raise Your Eye. It’s Only Microbe Wasteland

These will almost certainly be of interest to the MoBE community.  There is a new paper in mSystems “Geography and Location Are the Primary Drivers of Office Microbiome Composition” by John Chase, Jennifer Fouquier, Mahnaz Zare, Derek L. Sonderegger, Rob Knight, Scott T. Kelley, Jeffrey Siegel, J. Gregory Caporaso.  I found out about the paper via Jack Gilbert sharing a link to a commentary about the paper by Sean Gibbons:  The Built Environment Is a Microbial Wasteland  (Love the title, though I am not sure I would go so far as to say wasteland as I love deserts and such places. And I am happy the Title made me think of The Who).

Lots of interesting material in the paper.  Check it out and check out the commentary.  Also, the commentary has a great figure which I think I will probably use for many purposes:

Microbial diversity in outdoor environments and BEs. On the left is the silhouette of a cowboy brushing past a pine tree while riding a horse. On the right is the silhouette of a person sitting in an office chair and working on a laptop. Blue microbes are human associated, while other colors represent nonhuman microbial diversity.
Microbial diversity in outdoor environments and BEs. On the left is the silhouette of a cowboy brushing past a pine tree while riding a horse. On the right is the silhouette of a person sitting in an office chair and working on a laptop. Blue microbes are human associated, while other colors represent nonhuman microbial diversity. (Note in the Acknowledgements there is this text about the Figure: I gratefully acknowledge Cache Gibbons and Samantha Veysey for the original artwork in Fig. 1)

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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.