TED Conversations

Jessica Green

Professor, University of Oregon


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Probiotics, like yogurt, are known to support healthy gut microbes. How could we apply this idea support a healthy house, subway, or office?

Live TED Conversation: Join TED Fellow Jessica Green

Jessica is the Director of the Biology and Built Environment (BioBE) Center. Our goal is to optimize the design and operation of buildings to promote both human health and environmental sustainability.

*UPDATE* Jessica will be answering questions LIVE from 1:30PM - 3PM EDT, June 10th, 2011. This conversation will remain open until 6:30PM EDT, June 10th, 2011.


Closing Statement from Jessica Green

Thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughts. I will take this conversation with me as we continue to explore issues surrounding biology and the built environment.

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  • Jun 10 2011: Soil bacteria (Mycobacterium vaccae) alters your mood (serotonin and anxiety levels). Are you aware of other microorganisms known to do similar things and could your studies lead to a decrease in depression?
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      Jun 10 2011: I have seen some press on this idea that microbes can alter your mood, but I am not sure how scientifically supported that principle is. It would not surprise me, however, because microbes are involved in just about everything.

      I have also seen literature suggesting that building design influences human health (e.g. see Healing Spaces by E. Sternberg). One component of our work that I am enthusiastic about is exploring how natural light and natural ventilation, both of which are believe to have positive health effects (for reasons that are not 100% understood), influence microbes indoors.

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