The #microbenet and BioBE Center stab at a review of COVID-19 and the Built Environment

(updated 3/20/20 with revised preprint information) So late last week, the folks at the BioBE Center at the University of Oregon contacted us wanting to write a review of built environment considerations related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  We worked furiously on it for a couple of days and through the weekend.  Submitted …

Report on 2020 Spacecraft-Associated Genome Analysis (SAGAn) workshop at NASA JPL

So this last week, we ran a workshop on bacterial genomics at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).  Who is “we”?  An amazing collaboration across several institutions.  The whole thing was initiated by Dr. Parag Vaishampayan (NASA-JPL), who contacted myself (UC Davis), Dr. Elinne Becket (Cal State San Marcos), and Dr. Kenisha Johnson (Alabama A&M) about …

Staying alive in the built environment

Skin-associated bacteria are abundant indoors. A comparison across studies shows that up to 30% of bacterial sequences detected indoors are associated with the human body (see Table 1 in this 2016 paper). I’ve been kind of skeptical that these sequences represented live organisms, however. Rather, I suspected the high proportion of sequences that were human-associated …

Space Station conditions are selective but do not alter microbial characteristics relevant to human health

Human space exploration beyond Earth and Moon is a declared goal of NASA, ESA, Roscosmos and other space-faring agencies, with human Mars mission envisioned in the near future. One of the major challenges of the mission is protecting the human crew from illness and infection caused by harmful biological contaminants. To evaluate these challenges in …

The report from Kaunas: ISES-ISIAQ 2019

Last week, the International Societies of Exposure Science and Indoor Air Quality had their joint meeting in Kaunas, Lithuania. The meeting featured a lot of great research on topics ranging from the thermal comfort of clothes to exposure to heavy metals from e-cigarettes and everything in between. While we can’t summarize the whole meeting here, …

Legionella Report Release Webinar: August 14th, 11AM EDT

  Register Here Please join the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on August 14th from 11:00am-12:30pm EDT for the release of the report, Management of Legionella in Water Systems. The report examines what is known about Legionella occurrence in water systems, and makes recommendations for managing bacterial growth in these environments in order …

Integration of Biology and Chemistry for Indoor Environmental Quality at ISES-ISIAQ 2019

By Pudelek (Marcin Szala) – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link The International Societies for Exposure Science and Indoor Air Quality are having a joint meeting August 18-22, 2019 in Kaunas, Lithuania. Grantees from both the Microbiology of the Built Environment and Chemistry of Indoor Environments programs will feature in several sessions. In addition, there …

A different suite: distinct fungal communities in water-damaged homes

How microbial profiles differ between water-damaged and dry buildings is not well known. It’s only logical that where moisture is available indoors, microorganism will grow. Yet, measured microbial products do not show consistent differences between wet and dry homes. Because wet homes are associated with a variety of health risks, it’s important to identify the …

Man-made microbial resistances in built environments

Antibiotic resistance has been assessed to rise to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world, and new resistance mechanisms are emerging and spreading globally. At the same time the number of people dying from antibiotic-resistant bacteria is increasing. The World Health Organization considers the spread of antibiotic resistance and appropriate countermeasures as one …

Wrap up of Talk by Maria Gloria Dominguez Bello at UC Davis

Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello gave a talk at UC Davis on March 11, 2019.  This talk was part of the Storer Lectureship in Life Sciences series. Her talk was on “The Human Microbiome in an Age of Disruptive Change” and it was really quite good. I live Tweeted the talk and if you are interested the …