Short post here about an upcoming study by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University (in collaboration with Delta Airlines). They are going to examine microbes in the air on commercial aviation flights, as well as sample a number of surfaces on the plane. They’re going to correlate this microbial diversity data with detailed patterns of passenger traffic on the airplane (who gets up, where they go, and when).
The study sounds maybe a bit too focused on pathogens, and it’s not totally clear from the press release what methods they’ll be using to assay the microbes (“PCR and mass spectrometry”) but this sounds like really interesting work in an understudied built environment. Also glad to see that they’re looking at viruses which get overlooked in the standard ribosomal RNA surveys.