Participatory metagenomics for the domestic microbiome
What is the 'domestic microbiome' ?
New developments in the natural sciences show the great diversity of microbial life in our bodies, homes and the wider environment. This work requires us to rethink what it means to be human and hygienic. Some germs are risky, but the life in and around us also keeps us healthy. There is a growing interest in ‘probiotic’ approaches to health and hygiene that can differentiate between good and bad germs.
What is 'participatory metagenomics' ?
We want to bring these scientific developments out of the laboratory to explore how they relate to everyday understandings of domestic life and kitchen hygiene. We will develop methods to allow people to experiment on the microbial life in their kitchens and to visualise the results. We will work with key stakeholders in industry and the regulatory agencies to explore the risks and opportunities of allowing people to think with microbes and to develop ‘probiotic’ forms of hygiene.
Top photo by NIAID / CC BY 2.0