New preprint of interest on SARS-CoV-2 Aerosol and surface stability #COVID19 #Coronavirus 

There is a new preprint of interest to those interested in SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus spreading around the world. Details: Aerosol and surface stability of HCoV-19 (SARS-CoV-2) compared to SARS-CoV-1 Neeltje van Doremalen, Trenton Bushmaker, Dylan Morris, Myndi Holbrook, Amandine Gamble, Brandi Williamson, Azaibi Tamin, Jennifer Harcourt, Natalie Thornburg, Susan Gerber, Jamie Lloyd-Smith, Emmie de …

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 …

#COVID19 modes of transmission and fomites (Twitter comments)

I have been trying to collect information about the new coronavirus and transmission via fomites (objects or materials such as door handles, clothing, phones, etc).  Yesterday I posted to Twitter asking for input and got a large collection of useful responses. See these two tweets and the responses to them.  I highlight some key responses …

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 …

Staying alive in the built environment

Skin-associated bacteria are abundant indoors. A comparison across studies shows that up to 30% of bacterial sequences detected indoors are associated with the human body (see Table 1 in this 2016 paper). I’ve been kind of skeptical that these sequences represented live organisms, however. Rather, I suspected the high proportion of sequences that were human-associated …

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 …

How does flooring type impact your indoor chemistry and indoor microbiology?

Carpets are a favored flooring type. They can be soft, cozy, and warm – and help with keeping noise levels down. Carpet can even help prevent injury. While these attributes are well recognized, what is less known is how carpet compares with other flooring types in affecting your indoor environmental exposures. To help address this …

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 …

Microbiological of the built environment news story of interest: 5 more deaths linked to mold infections at Seattle Children’s Hospital

Just a quick post here pointing people to this news story.  I do not know the details of the science /proof here but this certainly seems of potential interest. SEATTLE (KOMO) – Five more deaths have been linked to infections from a mold in operating rooms at Seattle Children’s Hospital, CEO Dr. Jeff Sperring revealed …

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 …