A #COVID19 in the Built Environment preprint: shedding in a hospital

A preprint came out yesterday entitled “Transmission Potential of SARS-CoV-2 in Viral Shedding Observed at the University of Nebraska Medical Center“.  They looked at actual virus shed by patients in a healthcare setting (as opposed to artificial virus aerosols).  They found widespread contamination of surfaces and objects in the room… but all of the detection …

Detection of viral RNA, detection of infectious virus, and transmission risk are not interchangeable #COVID19

A short rant, precipitated by a Letter to JAMA that I was reading today. Detection of viral RNA DOES NOT EQUAL detection of infectious virus particles which DOES NOT EQUAL transmission risk.   Are all these things related? Of course.  Are they the same thing?  NO. This was prominent in the news recently with the finding …

Short, valuable preprint “Stability of SARS-CoV-2 in different environmental conditions”

This is a super-short preprint… just a letter and a few tables but contains some really useful information.  The authors looked at the viability (not just viral RNA!) of SARS-CoV-2 under different conditions including various surfaces, temperatures, and with various disinfectants. Example good news:  The virus is disinfected very readily Example bad news:  They detected …

Citizen Science Project on the Tomato Seed Microbiome

(cross posted to the UCD Microbiome SRP blog) What do you get when you combine UC Davis alumni, tomato seeds, and citizen science?   That would be Project GASP (“Germ”-ination Alumni Science Project).  I didn’t come up with the name, I swear.   This project, sponsored and paid for by the College of Biological Sciences at UC …

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 …

Story behind the paper: RtxA type 1 secretion system and other virulence factors in Legionella

So this work is a spinoff of a big project that we were involved in (but almost all of the work was done by Amy Pruden’s lab at Virginia Tech).  In the larger project, they examined the genomes of over 100 clinical isolates of Legionella pneumophila, as well as 10 clinical isolates from patients during …

Story behind the paper: Christensenlla genome analysis

So way back in 2014 a really interesting paper came out about a family of bacteria called Christensenellaceae, which was found to be the most heritable group in the human gut microbiome.  Furthermore this group (represented by Christensenella minuta) was furthermore associated with low BMI.  Most intriguingly, mouse work demonstrated that the injection of cultured …

Job Posting: Postdoc in extremophile community eco-evolution (NASA-funded project)

Got the following job posting over e-mail that might be of interest to folks: Postdoc in extremophile community eco-evolution   A postdoctoral research position in microbial eco-evolution is available in Dr. Mark Urban’s laboratory at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT.  The postdoc will join a NASA-funded astrobiology project to explore how immigration, rapid …

BioBE to represent MoBE at Upcoming Conferences

Posted by request from the BioBE Center at the University of Oregon:   The work of our BioBE team will be represented at five different conferences from May to August 2020. Our projects on hospital-associated infection will be presented at American Society for Microbiology Conference in Chicago, Microbiology in the Built Environment in Andover, NH, …

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 …