Please Explain: The Microbes Inside

Friday, November 09, 2012

On this week’s Please Explain we’ll learn about the microbes, bacteria, and fungi in and around our households, hospitals and other buildings. Rob Dunn, biologist in the Department of Biology at North Carolina State University, project director of the Wild Life of Our Homes, and author of The Wild Life of Our Bodies: Predators, Parasites, and Partners That Shape Who We Are Today, and  Jessica Green, Director of the Biology and the Built Environment (BioBE) Center at the University of Oregon, explain what these microbes are, where they come from, the ways their presence and absence may directly influence our health and well being, and new research into how to the design and operation of buildings to promote both human health and environmental sustainability. 


Rob Dunn and Jessica Green

Comments [8]

Laurence Molloy from NY, NY

I have been involved with mold for 40 years and my web site, www.Laurence has a peer reviewed article about the health effects of mold exposure.

I am deeply concerned about what is going on with abatement of mold after Sandy. Very few sites are testing for existing or residual mold and people are being exposed to massive amounts of dangerous mold. Customarily, an air test is taken before abatement and a clearance test after abatement to make sure that there is no residual mold in the house. Now very few owners or tenants are testing at all.

I recently did a post abatement air test in a house in Long Beach and found large numbers of dangerous mold still present, mostly because the abatement had been botched. The living room had 5,120 Stachybotrys mold spore per cubic meter of air. Stachybotrys is a very dangerous mold.

Nov. 30 2012 11:16 AM
rider from nyc

i didn't hear anyone mention the subway - how worried should we be and what steps can we take protect ourselves from subway infections?
The Atlantic Magazine ran a story about DNA and genetics warfare specifically engineered to kill targeted individuals by use of their DNA info.

Nov. 09 2012 03:30 PM
Hal from Crown Heights

Doesn't exposure to pathogens build immunity?

Nov. 09 2012 01:53 PM
John A

When I moved from NY, the carpet insects in California ate heartily on the vacuum bag contents left untouched by the ones in NY. Large scale multiplication in the bag resulted. Happy bugs if not me.

Nov. 09 2012 01:49 PM
Laura from UWS

"Toilet Sneeze" [This should end the toilet seat up or down question forever--the answer is always close the lid before flushing]

Technical term = bioaerosol (short for biological aerosol) a suspension of airborne particles that contain living organisms. (see Wikipedia)

Nov. 09 2012 01:44 PM

In our house we always close the toilet lid first before flushing in order cut down on "toilet sneeze" contamination. Ew.

Nov. 09 2012 01:41 PM
The Truth from Becky

Toilet sneeze??? Gross!! Fecal shower?? - I am glad I am not eating right now - LOL

Nov. 09 2012 01:41 PM

Lenny!!! Kudos on the "Navel" crack!

Nov. 09 2012 01:37 PM

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