Microbiome Awareness Month! The 5-Second Rule?

During this month of frantic, frenzied days, as you are running out the door, noshing on something, what if your snack falls on the floor?  

You’ve probably come across the “Five-Second Rule,” a kind of working hypothesis that supposedly tells you whether it’s safe to eat an item of food you’ve dropped on the floor.  This rule was the subject of a rigorous study conducted by Rutgers University in New Jersey, published in the American Society for Microbiology journal.

The Rutgers researchers meticulously dropped watermelon, bread (buttered and unbuttered), and gummy candy, from a height of 5 inches onto four different surfaces that had been disinfected, inoculated with Enterobacter aerogenes, then allowed to dry.

Watermelon picked up the most contaminating bacteria, while the gummy candy acquired the least.

So, while this month is a busy one, remember that foregoing the 5-second rule and taking time to find something less bacteria-laden to eat may be the best time-saver for your health in the long run.

For more information on microbes and the five-second rule, read our classic blog post.


If you are interested in learning more about your health and your microbiome come check out our clinical microbiome test SmartGut™.



Microbiome Awareness Month! Nails – Bacteria Havens under Your Nails?

Getting your nails done? Read on…

Regardless of how much you might wash your hands, there are always bacteria present on the surface of your palm, which is known as the stratum cornea. Basically this is your good guys fighting off the bad ones.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reminds us, of course, just how important it is to keep hands clean. It says good hygiene can prevent about 30% of diarrhea-related illnesses, and around 20% of respiratory infections (colds, for example).

Besides the skin surface of your hands, there are ten other places on your hands in which bacteria can really flourish: under your fingernails. There can be a ton of microbes lurking in the space under your nails.

In 1989 a group at the VA Medical Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota looked into bacteria beneath artificial nails, finding that nurses wearing them had considerably more bacteria beneath them than were found under natural nails.
Their recommendation? Short, clean nails are better, even if the salon industry might disagree.

For more information on microbes and nails, read our classic blog post.

If you are interested in learning more about your health and your microbiome come check out our clinical microbiome test SmartGut™.

Your Gut Bacteria Might Need a Nap

It’s not easy getting the recommended eight hours of sleep this time of year.  Did you know that an interruption in your regular sleep pattern could also mean an interruption to how well your gut bacteria function?

Although early microbiologists believed bacteria had no internal clocks, it is now known that microbes possess a circadian rhythm. Continue reading “Your Gut Bacteria Might Need a Nap”

Microbiome Awareness Month! Live from Helsinki

Happy month of December to all of you from all of us at uBiome!

Here’s some hot news from a cold place:

Our Co-Founder and CEO, Dr. Jessica Richman, gave a talk in chilly Helsinki at the famous Slush conference, the world’s largest startup event. It’s like a stadium rock concert – but with entrepreneurs – and attracts 20,000 attendees and 1 million live stream viewers. Continue reading “Microbiome Awareness Month! Live from Helsinki”

Microbiome Awareness Month! Holiday Stress Edition

Stressed out by the upcoming holidays? Maybe some interesting studies about the microbiome could be a good distraction.

Your brain acts on your gut, shaping its microbial makeup, while your gut is busy manufacturing neurotransmitters including dopamine, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and serotonin.

In fact the vast majority of your serotonin originates in your intestine. Continue reading “Microbiome Awareness Month! Holiday Stress Edition”

Happy Microbiome Awareness Month from all of us at uBiome!

Our bodies are made up of trillions of microbes that live in a symbiotic relationship with us. And since December is traditionally a wonderful season for celebrating with friends and family over holiday parties and get-togethers, how might this season of togetherness affect your microbes? Continue reading “Happy Microbiome Awareness Month from all of us at uBiome!”