Microbes live in dense and diverse communities. There are billions of bacteria from thousands of species living together in your gut or in the soil.
Cheese is a fascinating model for studying the intersection of human and microbial cultures. My project with Sissel Tolaas explores these connections through the process of making cheese using microbes sampled from the human body.
Last week was a monumental one for me – I said goodbye to my old lab, where I’ve worked for the past 5 years. It was harder than I thought it would be to leave.
A couple of years ago, my fiancée and I wanted to try to make some home-made mozzarella cheese, but ran into a problem. In order to turn milk into cheese, you have to add a substance called “rennet,” which causes the milk to coagulate, allowing you to separate the curd (mostly fats and hydrophobic proteins) [...]
The rinds of aged cheeses are complex, multispecies microbial communities, and they're much easier to study than those found in an animal's gut or in soil