How cheese can help explain today's White House microbiome announcement

By

Bret Hovell

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy announced today a new National Microbiome Initiative to encourage scientists to work together to study microbes — and the collections of microbes called microbiomes — across disciplines. The goal is to get a better understanding of these little critters that live everywhere — from the soil we plant crops in, to the oceans we swim in, to our very own digestive systems.

And it's not just understanding them. Scientists want to know enough to be able to affect different outcomes by tinkering with microbiomes.

Need an example to make it more concrete? So did we. So ASU Now sat down with Ferran Garcia-Pichel, the founding director of ASU's Biodesign Center for Fundamental and Applied Microbiomics.

And we found understanding of the mysterious — and tiny, obviously — world of microbiomes in of all places, a block of cheese.