For Day 21 of 30 Days Wild I joined lots of other citizen scientists around the UK sampling the air for background fungal spores, to monitor for resistance to azole fungicide drugs.
At 8am this morning I put the air sampler on my window sill where it sat until I came home from school. A second patch went to work with my dad.
Once the two air sampler patch have been exposed to the air for 8 hours, they will be resealed and sent back for testing.
These fungal spores are everywhere and play an important role as a decomposer in soil and decaying vegetation. To most people these are completely harmless, but to those with a compromised immune system such as with cystic fibrosis or undergoing chemotherapy, the spores can cause aspergillosis.
In turn aspergillosis can, in some cases, be treated with drugs. Unfortunately some of the spores have developed a resistance to drugs.
These air samples, together with soil samples, will help determine the percentage of spores around the UK that have developed a resistance to the drugs.
(This explanation was a very simple version)