The next great frontier of undiscovered species: your house!
Much fanfare is placed on the discovery of new flora and fauna - exotic birds, funky reptiles, bizarre insects - but very little energy is invested in discovering new bacterial life. In fact, the average household probably contains more unknown species than any nature preserve.
That’s exactly what Rob Dunn and his team of ecologists at NCSU are attempting to show in their innovative new study, announced in late August. In places like urban apartments, Dunn is hoping to discover “a who’s who of evolutionary miracle stories.” He’s soliciting ten households from each state - 5 rural, 5 urban - to sample their houses and send the kits back for analysis. The team will then let you know what you’ve been living with, as well as post the results online (anonymously, don’t worry).
Want to get involved? Check out the project website. Hurry - first come, first served!