By Andrew Greenhalgh
Project Lab: Phage Hunting has introduced me to the idea that everything I do during my daily life is in one way or another affected by phages. Just today, I was at the FFC and picked up a bagel. As I gradually ate the bagel, I began to ponder the idea that with every bite, I am ingesting hundreds of thousands of phages. With every breath I take, I am probably taking in just as many, if not more, phages. Even as I type this blog, millions of phages, some probably undiscovered, are permanent residents on my fingers. Even as I come in contact with these phages, and they enter my body either through ingestion or invasion, I seem to live the ideal normal life. This makes me wonder: how do the millions of phages we take in day after day influence bodily functions? If we didn’t have phages, or as many phages for that matter, how would our daily lives be affected? Though phages can be deadly to humans (as is the phage that infects E. coli), many can help us in various ways. Our continuous contact with phages leads me to believe only one thing: we need phages to survive and live a normal life.
With that, I am very excited for the rest of the semester of Phage Hunting. It will help me better understand the characteristics of the phage genome and of phages in general. I hope that I can truly uncover the true importance of phages in our daily lives and can accurately predict what our lives would be like without these microscopic wonders.