Tesla introduces “Bioweapon Defense Mode”

Tesla Motors showed off some tests of their amusingly-named “Bioweapon Defense Mode” on their blog earlier this week. While the demo is raising some skeptical eyebrows among actual biodefense experts, you don’t need crazy movie-plot scenarios to imagine the utility of a more serious approach to indoor air quality in vehicles — air quality in …

The First ISIAQ Summer School, Ghent, Belgium, July 2-3, 2016

Great opportunity If you are a student in the Master’s program, PhD student or post-doctoral fellow, if you believe that efficient, comfortable and healthy buildings are not only possible but necessary, if you are interested in building lasting collaborations and have fun doing it all, the summer school is for you. Event Description: ISIAQ summer …

New papers on microbiology of the built environment, February 6, 2016

Your weekly update of the literature on microbes of the built environment sensu lato. Microbes in the house Rhinitis, Ocular, Throat and Dermal Symptoms, Headache and Tiredness among Students in Schools from Johor Bahru, Malaysia: Associations with Fungal DNA and Mycotoxins in Classroom Dust – Dan Norbäck – PLOS ONE (OA) There are few studies …

A cloud of cloud things for detecting clouds

For the past couple of years, there has been a storm gathering on the horizon of indoor air quality monitoring. Nucleating around crowd-funding sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, these devices seem to advect along roughly similar trajectories. The teams working on these projects have created a sort of high pressure system wafting high-quality industrial …

Sensationalist headline from Time on Air Conditioning health risks, but OK story

Another quick post here.  There is a story by Markham Heid in Time of potential interest: You Asked: Is My Air Conditioner Killing Me? | TIME.  A bit sensationalist as a headline but has some good discussion and quotes in it including some interesting comments from Mark Mendell about indoor microbes.

Baby cages

I admit, I am intrigued by the use of baby cages in recent history. Under what circumstances is outdoor air better than indoor air – from a microbial exposure perspective – is an ongoing and fascinating question. The image of a baby hanging out a window in a chicken-wire cage graphically encapsulates that debate. Talk of baby cages …

Review of Architectural Design Drives the Biogeography of Indoor Bacterial Communities

By Amanda Makowiecki 1st Year Mechanical Engineering PhD Student Miller Research Group, University of Colorado Boulder Researchers at the University of Oregon recently published a paper examining the connection between architectural design and microbial diversity in our buildings (Kembel et al. 2014). Although occupancy type was identified as the strongest predictor of microbial variation, several …

Article in @usatoday by @mmpandika on “your home’s odor may be making you sick”

Quick post – just saw this Tweet from the Airmid Healthgroup Your home’s odor may be making you sick; microbial volatile organic compounds http://t.co/8M7U84L5Oi via @USATODAY – Airmid Healthgroup (@AirmidHealth) May 13, 2014 //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js It points to a story in USA Today by Melissa Pandika that may be of interest – Your home’s odor may be …

Where do biological particles found indoors come from?

Most of us spend most of our time indoors amidst suspended biological particles — spores, pollen, bits of dead skin, bacteria, viruses, and so on. We care about these particles because they may have human health impacts (positive or negative), effects on building materials, and possible forensic uses. Two sources known to be important for …

Who are the microbes in your neighborhood? And some background for #AAASMoBe Symposium

Tomorrow all day there will be a meeting at AAAS HQ on “Microbiomes of the Built Environment“.  I will be speaking at the meeting, and this is one of my major research areas, so I am a bit biased, but the meeting is going to be great I think.  And it will be webcast live. …