- Do you or does anyone you know suffer from allergies? What conditions make them flare up?
- Can you list some ways microbes play a role in the foods that we eat?
- Why is hand washing important?
- Define good hygiene.
- Do all bacteria cause disease?
- Based on a cell count, are you mostly human or microbe? How about based on weight?
- List two ways bacteria benefit human health.
- Define allergic reaction.
- Why would living in too clean an environment increase the risk of asthma and allergies?
- What did Erika von Mutius discover about exposure to farm animals?
- What would a high level of immunoglobulin E suggest about a person?
- How might microbes train the body’s immune system?
- Why can antibiotics and antibacterials be harmful once they enter lakes and streams?
- In what sorts of products would you expect to find triclocarban?
- What is the best way to wash your skin?
- What are the symptoms of asthma? Why are asthma rates rising?
- In what ways could you increase your exposure to beneficial bacteria?
- Is there an appropriate place to use antibacterial soap? Where is it?
- Name some problems that can arise from living a germ-free life.
- Did reading this article inspire you to change any of your habits? Why or why not?
- More than 81 percent of Americans live in urban areas. What steps would you take to expose more urban dwellers to the beneficial bacteria most commonly found in rural areas?
- Microbial cells account for 1 percent to 3 percent of a person’s weight. What is your weight? Now calculate how many pounds of that would appear to be due to the microbes living on and in you? Show your calculations.