Who are the microbes in your hospital’s showerhead? In your showerhead? In your showerhead?

There is a new paper in AEM of interest: Characterization of biofilms developing on hospital shower hoses and implications for nosocomial infections by Maria J. Soto-Giron, Luis M. Rodriguez, Chengwei Luob, Michael Elkd, Hodon Ryu, Jill Hoelle, Jorge W. Santo Domingo and Konstantinos T. Konstantinidis They used 16S rRNA gene sequencing of cultured isolates, and metagenomic sequencing, to characterize the microbes living in hospital shower hoses. …

How to Deal with Superbugs in Waste Treatment Facilities

The Los Angeles Times posted an article yesterday on “Deadly superbugs from hospitals get stronger in the sewers and could end up in the Pacific Ocean”. While there is some truth to the matter, it is necessary to approach it with some skepticism. It is well known that antibiotic resistant bacteria are extremely prevalent in …

Mining the urban sewage for safe water indicators

Hello Microbe.net readers, I am Fangqiong. I recently received the Microbiology of the Built Environment Postdoc Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. I will be studying a kind of built environment microbiome, the microbiome in the urban water cycle, in Professor Eric Alm’s lab at MIT. I am very grateful to the Sloan Foundation …

Great long read from WisconsinWatch.org on water radium levels increasing as wells are dug deeper 

As communities grow and pump more groundwater, radium from deep bedrock is contaminating dozens of water systems. The city of Waukesha wants to tap into Lake Michigan to solve its radium problem. Just was pointed to this piece by Deborah Blum: As wells go deeper, radium levels rise in state tap water | WisconsinWatch.org.  It …

Deceptive lead testing, water utilities and the EPA vs. citizen science 

Just got done reading this article from the Guardian and it is distressing Guardian analysis reveals millions of customers were asked to used testing method condemned by the EPA which may flush out detectable lead content Source: Water utilities serving American cities use tests that downplay contamination | Environment | The Guardian by Jessica Glenza and Oliver Milman. The …

Bacterial Biofilms and Listeria on Floor Drains

A recent paper Dzieciol et al uses 16S pyrosequencing to characterize the bacterial biofilms on floor drains. Listeria monocytogenes was also tested for using both cuture-independent and -dependent techniques. Here is the abstract: Sanitation protocols are applied on a daily basis in food processing facilities to prevent the risk of cross-contamination with spoilage organisms. Floor drain water …

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 …

Magic in the Water

The essayist, philosopher and literary naturalist Loren Eiseley has been famously quoted for saying “If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water…” There is no better place to explore the magic than an aquarium.   Today’s molecular microbiology capabilities go way beyond the ability to satisfy our scientific curiosity. They enable …