Chopping boards and bacteria

Our visualisation team (Rich and Andrew) are continuing to work with the data from the first kitchen safari conducted by our participants earlier this year. Below are some more of their early results.

The bubble charts below show the types of bacteria on chopping boards, and were produced using the open-source platform Phinch. The data comes from several of our participating households in Oxford, and is organised according to phyla (the highest taxonomic level used to categorise types of bacteria). The size of each bubble shows how many of the different sorts of bacteria we found belong to each phyla. This data is still pretty raw - for example, we haven't yet removed the data from plant material DNA that might be boosting the relative abundance of cyanobacteria (both chloroplasts in plants, and cyanobacteria produce energy through photosynthesis, and they share a genetic heritage which affects the sequencing results). Finding remnants of lettuce on kitchen chopping boards would hardly be surprising! But nevertheless you can see some interesting bacterial similarities and differences between the various households. 

Each picture shows the types of bacteria (at the phyla level) found on a single chopping board: