When different biomes collide the direct contact can transfer millions of cells in each event, making the ‘Five Second Rule’ a veritable bacterial jubilee. I like what Jeroen Raes, a microbiologist at Vrije Universiteit Brussel says “We are walking bacterial colonies. A super organ of sorts, that lives in harmony with its microbes and bacteria.” The Human Microbiome Project says a 90kg person could harbor as much as 3kg of bacteria, shedding 1.5 million human cells & 15 million bacteria cells per hour respectively. All humans have a very active and interesting cheesy whakapapa which they contribute to the rind.
So what of the cheese cave ecosystem? This gets cool. The @HomeMicrobiome are seeking to unravel the relationship between human-associated and home-associated microbial signatures. Their hypothesis is: bacteria on surfaces will be most similar to: a) the bacteria on the body parts that came into contact with it, b) what humans breathe in and out in that environment. The study has particular interest in the type of paint on walls, countertop material, type of flooring, light intensity, ventilation systems, pets in household and square footage. Consider Tim Janus’ bacterial burp contribution to a cheese cave…
So, what I want to know is: Does the bacteria of the cheese cave colonise the affineur, or does the bacteria of the affineur colonise the cheese cave? The parameters in play with the study are suitable to reveal some very very interesting results.
I ♥ the work of @thisischristina exploring the bacterial connections between our bodies and our food – using micorobial samples taken from the ecosystem of human skin to make cheese is fascinating. And why not? The list of normal bacterial flora of humans includes many a commercial cheese starter and bacterial culture in use today. My own bounty of keratin, sebum, propionibacterium & brevibacterium are often showing their cheesy character, yet the thought of coughing up my favourite bacteria Geotrichum candidum is not so appealing.
In a bacteriologically correct society it’s a bacterial mashup indeed, take us to the bridge Bryan Adams vs Metallica.