I recently posted here about one of the new Sloan-funded projects in the microbiology of the built environment, the “Hospital Microbiome Project”. One thing I didn’t mention is that they already have some interesting preliminary results from the construction phase of the project that are worth checking out.
Jack Gilbert has also been involved in another interesting study related to the built environment, the “Home Microbiome Study”. There are several interesting components to this study, but I wanted to highlight their “fun” results regarding bacteria on cell phones and shoes. Here the researchers took samples from journalists attending the AAAS meeting in Vancouver this year as a demonstration of environmental sampling/sequencing techniques.
The results are here, and provide a nice change from the scaremongering and inadequate results circulating the last couple days from a Wall Street Journal article (subscribers only) on bacteria on cell phones. My favorite quote from the WSJ article? “People are just as likely to get sick from their phones as from handles of the bathroom,”. Erm yes… I assume he means “not very likely in either case”.