We are (fortunately) not alone. Microbes should no longer be seen as foes that need to be eliminated at all costs. Work from Donata Vercelli, PhD's laboratory recently featured in the Washington Post shows that living in traditional farming environments means living in a place that is extremely rich in microbes — the right microbes that our immune system has evolved to live with and learn from. The constellation of organisms found in soil and on farm animals programs how a child responds to allergens throughout her lifetime. This programming likely starts in utero and continues to shape the immune system during the first few years of life. Read more here.