Homeland Security Funding Opportunity – Reference Genome Sequencing

Just a quick note about a funding opportunity of potential interest. The Department of Homeland Security “BAA 12-04  Whole Genome Approach to Microbial Forensics (WGAMF)” program has a grant called “Whole-genome sequencing to capture the global biodiversity of human, plant and animal pathogens (bacterial, viral and fungal) in support of microbial forensics analysis” https://baa2.st.dhs.gov/portal/public/Menu.action?page=baa_current_solicitations Here’s the …

Advances in imaging the oral microbiome would have interesting applications in the built environment

When we talk about “community structure” in microbial ecology we are usually referring to the composition and frequency of various species in that community, information often arrived at through rRNA sequencing and/or metagenomics. But there is of course also a “real” structure of communities, particularly in biofilms.  Some species tend to be physically associated with …

Updated microBEnet calendar – additional suggestions wanted

In preparation for the New Year, we’ve updated our “Upcoming Events” page and calendar to include conferences/workshops etc. that we hope will be of interest.  We’ve tried to include both microbiology and building sciences, but mainly places where they overlap. https://www.microbe.net/upcoming-events/ Please feel free to send us any additional suggestions!  

“Microbial Home” by Philips takes a futuristic, holistic, positive look at microbes in the home

As with our recent musings on probiotics for buildings, sometimes it’s fun and productive to think about the distant future in the microbiology of the built environment. And Royal Philips Electronics (Netherlands) has done just that with their futuristic “Microbial Home” project.  I’m not saying every one of their ideas will work, or that I’m …

Wastewater contribues to antibiotic resistance even after the best available treatments

Wastewater treatment systems are one of the few built environments where microbes get the attention we believe they deserve.   Bacteria in particular are a critical component of treating the massive waste stream generated by humanity on a daily basis.  And those bacteria are basically harmless out in the wild… unless they harbor and transfer antibiotic …

Interesting Indoor Microbe of the day: Serratia marcescens

After reading this story today about Serratia marcescens I thought it would be interesting to have the occasional post highlighting a particular organism found in the built environment.  Sort of like a baseball card collection of microbes. Name:  Serratia marcescens Location: commonly found in showers, toilets, tiles etc.  Fairly ubiquitous in damp environments. Description: rod-shaped, …

Defense against bacterial biofilms on boats

When I think of things that problematically attach themselves the bottom of boats, I usually think of barnacles.   But bacterial biofilms can also be a problem, and can make the substrate more attractive to larger organisms. I saw an interesting story today on work focused on developing anti-fouling systems that aren’t toxic to the environment.  …