How Quarantine Has Turned Us Into Gardeners of Our Bodies’ Ancient Microbial Wilderness

As We Separate to Avoid a Virus, We Are Becoming Islands of Social Bacteria, Fungi, and Even Mites 

We may feel isolated now, in our homes, or apart in parks, or behind plexiglass shields in stores. But we are never alone. I’ve spent much of the last 20 years studying the many species with which we live: thousands of them, perhaps hundreds of thousands, including fungi, bacteria on our skin and in our guts, and animals ranging from the several species of Demodex mites that live in our pores to the spiders that ride with us from home to home.

In ordinary times, no person is an island. …

Meet the Deadly Bacteria Whose Story Is a Curious Mix of Hope and Danger

The ‘Elizabethkingia’ Strain Could Cure Malaria, but It’s Also Sickened Dozens in Wisconsin

Back in 1948, Milton Berle had a TV show where he’d greet his audience with “Good evening, ladies and germs!” This was considered hysterically funny, and so absurd: Germs were …