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Episode 40: From Baking Sourdough To Petting Your Pup: The Microbiome Of Your Home

Rob Dunn | Baking Sourdough To Petting Your Pup | Microbiome of Your Home

Have you ever stopped to wonder what benefit that spider crawling across your bedroom wall brings to your home? Or how your wet, muddy dog contributes to the microbial communities living on your couch -- and in your gut? 

On this episode, Andrea talks to Rob Dunn about how everything from water filters to sourdough bread inform what's taking up residence within your four walls. Rob is a researcher who studies the biology of daily life, and is the author of five books, including his most recent, award-winning title "Never Home Alone.” 

The two dive into why most “spider bites” are actually something totally different (hint: it’s microbe-related!) and why it’s important to let certain creepy crawlies live inside. At the end of this episode, you’ll be looking at your shower head and your floorboards in a whole new light. 

Resources mentioned on the show: 


On this show, you’ll learn: 

  • Differences in ancestral species of microbes compared to today (3:17)
  • Is exposure to various microbes better as a child than as an adult? (5:26)
  • Microbe exposure in home birth vs hospital birth (7:03)
  • Do the strains our ancestors encountered even exist today? (9:07)
  • Does travel help diversify the microbiome? (10:44)
  • Food microbes: where do they come from? (13:31)
  • What happens in the home when a water filter is used? (17:50)
  • How pets change the microbial landscape of a home (19:19)
  • What good are spiders anyway? (22:08)
  • It’s not a spider bite -- what it could be instead (24:12)
  • How many species live with us? (28:03)
  • How to engage with the study of life that’s happening in our homes (30:05)
  • Ways Rob has changed his own home based on his research (33:00)

Tune in on iTunes here:


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