Collection of papers on “The Science of Science Communication”

Just got pointed to this by Sharon Strauss, the chair of the Evolution and Ecology department here at UC Davis: The Science of Science Communication II Sackler Colloquium.  This is a collection of papers from a colloquium held in Septment 2013.  Slides and videos of the talks are available online. The papers and links (copied from the PNAS site) are listed below.  There are many papers here of relevance to work done at microBEnet and are also likely of general interest to many: Science communication as political communication Dietram A. Scheufele PNAS 2014 111 (Supplement 4) 13585-13592; published ahead of print September 15, 2014,doi:10.1073/pnas.1317516111 Abstract Full Text (HTML) … Continue reading

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“Human Connection: the Roles of Materials, Human Performance, and Research Translation in Health-Centered Buildings”

Just a quick conference announcement here for “Human Connection: the Roles of Materials, Human Performance, and Research Translation in Health-Centered Buildings” sponsored by the US Green Building council to be held in Bethesda MD on November 10th.  Information from the website below: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Health in Buildings Roundtable (HiBR), U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) invite you to a one-day meeting on November 10th that will explore the impact of building materials on human health and performance in health-centered buildings. The health-centered building community … Continue reading

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Lake Arrowhead Microbial Genomics 2014 (#LAMG14) F1000 Site w/ Posters and Talks

Well, the Lake Arrowhead Microbial Genomes meting ended one week ago. And it was a great meeting. I am writing up some reflections of the meeting which I will post in a few days. But for now I thought I would post a little note that I am experimenting with a new (for me) approach for sharing talks and presentations from meetings. This approach is to take advantage of the Faculty of 1000 (F1000) Posters system which allows free publishing of slides and posters. There are of course many ways to share posters and talks from meetings. I usually post … Continue reading

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Expanding the breadth of topics covered at microBEnet

Just a quick post here.  Some may have noticed that more of the posts here at microBEnet than say, a year ago, are not focused explicitly about “microbiology of the Built Environment” (MoBE).  They are instead sometimes focused on microbiology, history of microbiology, architecture, methods in microbial ecology, bioinformatics tools, and more.  There is a reason for this.  I have been asking for people to write about many of these areas.  And there is a reason I have been doing that.  Multiple people in the “MoBE” community have commented that it would be useful to have more general discussions here about … Continue reading

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Multiple artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance: Prima facie, the science is sound

N. b. Should it appear presumptuous, I was publicly prompted to write this. I loathe to link to the original post by Locwin, but must for my response to make sense. A recent blog post (Sept 22, 2014; accessed Sept 24, 2014) by Ben Locwin addresses in the title and first line a study in Nature (Suez et al, 17 Sept 2014) titled “Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota.” Locwin admits in the second paragraph that “indeed it may be true that gut microbiota can be influenced and adapt to large doses of artificial sweeteners.” He goes on … Continue reading

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FDA Announces 2014 Food Safety Challenge on detecting Salmonella in produce (w/ $500K to be awarded)

Well this is very interesting. The FDA has announced a competition: U.S. Food and Drug Administration | 2014 Food Safety Challenge. From their site Summary While the American food supply is among the safest in the world, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 6 Americans is sickened by foodborne illness annually, resulting in about 3,000 deaths each year.  It is estimated that the overall negative economic impact of foodborne illness in the United States, including medical costs, quality-of-life losses, lost productivity, and lost-life expectancy, may be as high as $77 billion per year.  Salmonella represents … Continue reading

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Announcing the scikit-bio cookbook “recipe-of-the-week” series

scikit-bio is a library for building bioinformatics tools and workflows in Python. It’s already a core dependency of QIIME, is extensively used in An Introduction to Applied Bioinformatics, and was the subject of my talk at SciPy 2014 (video) this past July. One of our focuses with scikit-bio is to make its functionality very accessible by providing amazing documentation. We’ve largely done that through our numpydoc-compliant API documents so far – see here, here and here for some good examples. The scikit-bio cookbook: delicious and nutritious bioinformatics recipes We’re now interested in expanding our documentation to illustrate how to build … Continue reading

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Interesting (but closed-access) review article on “Urban microbiomes and urban ecology”

This article, “Urban microbiomes and urban ecology: How do microbes in the built environment affect human sustainability in cities?” certainly gets points for an intriguing title.  Though it is sadly closed-access. I haven’t read the whole article, but it’s basically a review of a lot of microbiology of the built environment literature, especially as it relates to urban environment.   Abstract below: Humans increasingly occupy cities. Globally, about 50% of the total human population lives in urban environments, and in spite of some trends for deurbanization, the transition from rural to urban life is expected to accelerate in the future, especially in … Continue reading

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Greenbuild International Conference and Expo

Just a quick post to highlight the upcoming Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in New Orleans, Oct 22-24.  Here’s the slightly over the top pitch from the organizers: Greenbuild is the premier event for sustainable building. Featuring three exhilarating days of uplifting speakers, unmatched networking opportunities, showcases, LEED workshops and tours of green buildings in New Orleans, Greenbuild offers a place for thousands to gather and renew their commitment to the green movement. With so much to see and do, you can’t miss the excitement and energy of Greenbuild 2014 in New Orleans. One of the reasons this really intrigues me … Continue reading

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Comparative Analysis of Functional Metagenomic Annotation and the Mappability of Short Reads (by Rogan Carr and Elhanan Borenstein)

We’d like to first thank Jon for the opportunity to discuss our work in this forum. We recently published a study investigating direct functional annotation of short metagenomic reads that stemmed from protocol development for our lab. Jon invited us to write a blog post on the subject, and we thought it would be a great venue to discuss some practical applications of our work and to share with the research community the motivation for our study and how it came about. Our lab, the Borenstein Lab at the University of Washington, is broadly interested in metabolic modeling of the … Continue reading

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