Your Home, Your Bacteria

10:10 minutes

When you move into a new home, you might personalize it with your favorite paint color, different furnishings, and familiar knick-knacks. Research recently published in the journal Science indicates that redecoration extends to bacteria as well. After a few days, surfaces in a home begin to take on the distinct signature of a new resident’s microbiome—that is, the collection of bacteria that live on and in a person’s body. Jack Gilbert, an environmental microbiologist at Argonne National Laboratory and lead author of the study, is trying to develop a better understanding of the way people, bacteria, and the environment around them interact, from the kitchen floor to the greater Chicago area.

Segment Guests

Jack Gilbert

Jack Gilbert is a group leader for microbial ecology at the Argonne National Laboratory. He’s also a professor of surgery at the University of Chicago. He’s based in Chicago, Illinois.

Meet the Producer

About Charles Bergquist

As Science Friday’s director and senior producer, Charles Bergquist channels the chaos of a live production studio into something sounding like a radio program. Favorite topics include planetary sciences, chemistry, materials, and shiny things with blinking lights.

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