Although you can't see them with the naked eye, microbes are everywhere. Your body and nearly every surface around you is covered in these tiny microscopic organisms. I'm going to explain how you will soon be able to characterize the microbial communities that live among us -- on surfaces like door knobs, crosswalk buttons, or the palms of your hands -- and compare your findings with those of others.
(1) Moisten a Q-tip with solution (like water or a mild detergent) (2) Swab your surface with the moistened Q-tip (3) Place the swab in a sealed container, like a plastic bag (4) Record information about your specimen collection, such as date, time, geolocation, and weather. (5) Mail your specimen to a lab that specializes in sequencing, such as this one