Self-sterilizing keyboard – don’t forget – resistance happens

Just a quick one here — been pointed to the existence of a “self-sterilizing” keyboard (e.g., Brier Dudleys Blog | FDA OKs Vioguards germ-killing keyboard | Seattle Times Newspaper.) from a company called Vioguard.  Clearly keyboards could be a “breeding” ground for nasty microbes so cleaning keyboards, especially those used in hospitals, seems like a good …

A conversation with Paula Olsiewski, program director, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation program on the Microbiology of the Built Environment

The driving force behind much of the new research in the microbiology of built environment is the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation which is funding a large variety of research projects, as well as microBEnet. For more information on their program, accomplishments to date, and goals for the future check out this written interview with Paula …

Stirring up the air with vacuums – interesting new study

Well, normally I find popular press stories about getting rid of dust and bacteria to be mostly fear mongering.  But this article from WebMD (which much of the time I have complaints about) actually seems worth a look: Are Vacuum Cleaners Bad for Your Health?.  The article discusses in part new work from Australian researchers on …

One way to get governments to think more about microbes in the built environment

The Washington Post reports that Legionnaire’s bacteria found throughout Hong Kong’s new government headquarters.  This article reminds me of something I have been meaning to post here previously.  I think one of the best ways to get the government here in the US to think more about microbes in the built environment would be to survey …

“Toxic fungus thrives in bathroom sinks” – a sequence-based examination of Fusarium in homes and buildings

Another “scary microbe that lives in your house/office/car” story.  In this case, the fungi Fusarium which can be pathogenic, particularly for people with immune deficiencies.   To be fair, the authors of the scientific study take pains to point out that “the serious infections caused by fusaria are relatively uncommon and that these fungi may even …

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 …