Exactly How Do You Collect 12,000 Microbial Samples From a Hospital?

Last month I wrote about the Hospital Microbiome project, Jack Gilbert’s ambitious project to catalog the bacterial species growing in the hospital before it opens and monitor how that environment changes after doctors and patients start interacting with it. Over the next two years, he and his team will be collecting more than 12,000 samples from doctors, patients, countertops, floors, doorknobs and faucets. That sounds like a lot of work, so I tagged along with Daniel Smith, PhD, from Argonne National Laboratory and the Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology one day to see just how they do it. As you can see in the video above, they’re going to need a lot of Q-tips.

About Matt Wood (512 Articles)
Matt Wood is a senior science writer at the University of Chicago Medicine and nonfiction editor for Another Chicago Magazine.
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