UO researchers talk about indoor and outdoor microbes

Crowded city buildings (Photo: Alessandro Di Credico)

Two UO scientists working on ways to make the indoor environment as healthy as the great outdoors are featured in an article that examines new discoveries about the urban microbiome.

Biology professor Jessica Green and architecture professor Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg talk about microbiomes — the microscopic world of bacteria and other organisms that populate both indoor and outdoor environments — is a story on the website of Fast Company, a design, technology and business media company. Both are part of the UO’s Biology and the Built Environment program.

The article delves into the role of microorganisms in different environments. Green and Van Den Wymelenberg talk about the emerging picture of how microbiomes are important to human health and the need for buildings to incorporate more fresh air, in part to allow the beneficial bugs that live in outdoor green spaces a chance to set up shop indoors.

"I can imagine a future when urban planners understand the importance and value of green space in a way they didn't before," says Green, "because they’re factoring in how trees influence air quality from a microbial perspective."

For the full article, see “The City of Tomorrow Is A Petri Dish — By Design” on the fastcodesign.com website.