In an innovative effort to understand microbial communities, a UC San Diego biology professor has turned cheese into her ‘lab rat’
While many microbiologists build entire research careers around studies of a single microorganism, Rachel Dutton has taken her career in the other direction—examining collections of microbes, but with an unusual twist. She studies what grows on cheese. An assistant professor in UC San Diego’s Division of Biological Sciences, Dutton examines the communities of bacteria and fungi that produce different kinds of hand-crafted “artisanal” cheese in order to better understand how microbial communities form and work together.
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