Microbes in Your Home BBC Report
BBC Report on Thousands of Microbes in Your Home
Image of an ordinary house Dust Mite
Here we share with you an article written by By Rebecca Morelle, on 26 August 2015. Rebecca is the Science Correspondent, BBC News and her article was about a Report published by the Royal Society, with details of a study carried out by the University of Colorado, who analysed the dust found in 1,200 households, with some surprising results.
Here is the full article from Rebecca: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-34056549
Here is a link direct to the Proceedings published by the Royal Society: is published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
We replicate some of the important phrases in the article for you:
The dust in our homes contains 9,000 different species of microbes.
Dr Noah Fierer, Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, who carried out the study, sad: “This is really basic natural history we are investigating here. We have known for a long time that microbes live in our homes.”
The study is part of a citizen science project called: (Link here) The Wild Life of Our Homes.
Volunteers from 1,200 homes across the United States sent dust samples to the researchers. A genetic analysis of the house dust revealed a menagerie of microscopic creatures. The researchers found that the average household had more than 2,000 different types of fungi.
These included well-known moulds such asAspergillus, Penicillium, lternaria andFusarium.
“They enter the home on our clothing, or through open windows or through doors.
The researchers also discovered an average of 7,000 different types of bacteria per household. Some, such as Staphylococcus and Streptococcus, were commonly associated with human skin. However others, such as Bacteroides andFaecalibacterium, were linked to faeces.
“Bringing a dog or cat into your home really has a significant effect on the bacteria you find in your home,” explained Dr Fierer. “It was surprising to us that it was such a strong influence – stronger than any other factor, stronger than where your home was located or the design of your home, for example.”
While the study was carried out in the United States, Dr Fierer said that the findings would be relevant for other parts of the world.
The researchers now want to find out how sharing our homes with these organisms could affect human health. While some microbes may be linked to disease and allergies, they say most are probably harmless – and some may even be beneficial.
Dr Fierer added: “People do not need to worry about microbes in their home. They are all around us, they are on our skin, they’re all around our home – and most of these are completely harmless.
“It is just a fact of life that we are surrounded by these microbes.”