A Portrait of a Building and its External Inhabitants

Imagine a city skyline — what do you see?  Skyscraper peaks, metallic sheens, sand-colored stones, rusty brickreds, dirty white plaster, glinting windows?  That is a lot of surface area!  I am curious about what can be eking out a living on all of these different surfaces, and how it might be contributing to urban ecosystems. In …

Videos of talks from “Microbiomes of the Built Environment: From Research to Application”

On April 11 there was a meeting in Washington DC that was part of an effort from a new study being conducted by the National Academies of Science, Medicine, and Engineering on “Microbiomes of the Built Environment”.  Videos and slides from the meeting have now been posted.  I have compiled them below. In addition, I …

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 …

Everything you wanted to know about space poop

Let’s face it, when microbiologists get together over beers 9/10 times the conversation ends up about poop.   Or maybe that’s just among the ones I know?  Feces provides the critical window into the important world of the gut microbiome,  a large percentage of the biomass in feces is microbial and who doesn’t love fecal transplants? …

Interesting possible model for microbiomes and space travel: bees

Just got done looking at this paper which I found by searching Google Scholar for “indoor bacteria”.  PLOS ONE: 16S rRNA Amplicon Sequencing Demonstrates that Indoor-Reared Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) Harbor a Core Subset of Bacteria Normally Associated with the Wild Host A MiSeq multiplexed 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing of the gut microbiota of wild and indoor-reared …