Microbes common on farms protect children from developing asthma and this protective effect has also been found in urban and suburban homes.

Pirkka Kirjavainen at the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Finland and his colleagues analyzed the microbes from living room floor dust from the homes of a group of 197 children living in rural areas of Finland – half living on farms – and 182 children living in suburban or urban places.

For the suburban children, they found that the homes with a microbial community that was most like that of farm homes were correlated with a lower risk of asthma in the children at age 6, when asthma tends to develop.

Read more at www.newscientist.com