#COVID19 Preprint Journal Club: “How can airborne transmission of COVID-19 indoors be minimised?”

This is a must-read article for folks thinking about mitigating the risk of COVID-19 indoors.  A venerable author list, including many experts on all aspects of indoor ventilation, pathogen transmission, aerosol science, etc.  Since it is a review, it’s hard to summarize.  Basically they argue that the current status of the science on indoor microbiology …

Coronavirus Environmental Testing Service #COVID19

So our collaborators from the Biology of the Built Environment (BioBE) Center at the University of Oregon have been working hard to get their environmental sampling qRT-PCR assays for SARS-CoV-2 up and running.  I’m sure we’ll be posting more about their results as they develop. But they are now offering their testing as a service …

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 …

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 …

Research England Funded Hub for Biotechnology in the Built environment

Got this note to post from Dr Darren L. Smith from the HBBE to post here. ———————— The Hub for Biotechnology in the Built Environment (HBBE) (www.bbe.ac.uk) is a £8M initiative between Northumbria and Newcastle Universities funded by Research England’s Extending Excellence in England (E3) scheme. HBBE will develop biotechnologies to create a new generation …

Man-made microbial resistances in built environments

Antibiotic resistance has been assessed to rise to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world, and new resistance mechanisms are emerging and spreading globally. At the same time the number of people dying from antibiotic-resistant bacteria is increasing. The World Health Organization considers the spread of antibiotic resistance and appropriate countermeasures as one …

Journal Club: “Microwave detection and quantification of water hidden in and on building materials…”

Just a quick journal club post here, got pointed to this really interesting sounding article by David Thaler recently “Microwave detection and quantification of water hidden in and on building materials: implications for healthy buildings and microbiome studies.” As I understand the problem, it can be hard to quantify water in buildings, particularly water hidden …

How important is hand-washing outside of a hospital environment?

I recently spent a weekend visiting a friend out of state and quickly came to realize that he rarely washed his hands. Before eating? No. After the gym? No. Even after going to the bathroom…and not just urination. No washing! I was disgusted and could not convince him of the same. How could an educated …

When your space craft cleaning reagents become food for microbes 

This is really fascinating: Source: Team discover how microbes survive clean rooms and contaminate spacecraft Hat tip to Elisabeth Bik for posting about this on Twitter So cool: microbes actually feed on the cleaning products. Also cool: undergraduates as authors. Team discover how microbes survive clean rooms and contaminate spacecraft https://t.co/ox4kMawHko — Elisabeth Bik (@MicrobiomDigest) June …