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

(updated 4/7/20 with revised preprint and publication 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 …

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 …

Journal Club: “Home chemical and microbial transitions across urbanization”

Another really interesting paper from Maria Dominguez-Bello and her lab and colleagues, “Home chemical and microbial transitions across urbanization”.  They’ve done some fascinating work in the past on the microbiome changes across an urbanization gradient and here they expand that work to include a bunch of chemistry data.  Definitely worth a read for anyone interested …

Job posting: Metagenomics analysis of spacecraft at JPL (Postdoctoral Fellow)

I’m a sucker for space microbiome research, I admit.   Here’s a great sounding postdoc opportunity with our collaborator Parag Vaishampayan at JPL. Job Details Job ID: 11208 We ask the biggest questions, then search the universe for answers—literally. And, with great opportunities come great responsibilities! In the Biotechnology and Planetary Protection group at JPL, we …

Job posting: Postdoc in Microbiology at the USDA in Davis, CA

Job posting below: Postdoctoral Research Associate Western Human Nutrition Research Center Davis, California (Research Microbiologist) Salary Range of $67,574 to $80,993 Announcement Open: December 1, 2019 through January 31, 2020 The USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Western Human Nutrition Research Center in Davis, California, is seeking a POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATE, (Research Microbiologist) for a TWO YEAR …

Legionella sequencing in tap water and clinical isolates from Flint, MI

So this was a very interesting paper to be involved in.  On the one hand all our lab really did was to facilitate some genome sequencing and help with the assemblies, validation of those assemblies, and some genomics work.   Standard fare for the lab.  But… these were over 100 Legionella pneumophila isolates collected from either …