One of my spare time activities is to listen to science-themed podcasts and for several years I’ve been following the “This week in Microbiology” and “This week in Virology” podcasts hosted by Vincent Racanielloand friends at Columbia University. During the podcast, the hosts usually discuss a couple papers of interest to them similar to a journal club. I enjoy their insights and learned many things about approaching scientific papers that are not within my area of expertise. I am usually baffled by the extent of the host’s knowledge. However, recently, they discussed more and more microbiome-themed studies and following their discussion seemed ever more interesting (and easier as the topic is closer related to our own field). Today, I caught up on some very recent episodes and I was thrilled to find out that the hosts not only discussed the ambiguous meaning of the term “microbiome”, but also microbes in the built environment. Specifically, Rachel Adams’ fungal diversity paper was the journal club topic and it was a pleasure to listen to a summary of her paper as perceived by a group of scientists outside of the closely knit microbes-in-the-built-environment-community. I highly recommend the one hour long discussion here: http://www.microbeworld.org/podcasts/this-week-in-microbiology/archives/1511-twim-68-the-fungus-among-us
Maybe on your next run (while collecting fungi on your forehead), on the next busride (while breathing in the microbes of the stranger next to you) or the next airline flight (while drying out your skin diminishing the water availability for fungi to grow on you)?
In the discussion of the paper, the hosts of the podcast also mention the hospital microbiome project, and -spoiler alert- there is storytelling time about Rachel’s path to becoming a microbiologist studying the built environment