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 …

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 …

Crowdfunding generates outreach for research

Here is a quick post to show off a new figure based on some analysis of data from our kittybiome Kickstarter to sequence gut microbiome samples from cats. Modeled on similar participatory research projects for humans where participants submit fecal samples for bacterial characterization, we are characterizing the gut microbiome of domestic cats with a …

Maps and graphics for a participatory research project

I’m enjoying making maps of participants for kittybiome, a new participatory research project on the microbiome of cats. It was very easy to make this map using Google Maps. (And using Google Maps is particularly appropriate for the project because we have a celebrity cat named NDA, who lives with inventor of Google Maps participating in the project.) Here …

Sarah Zhang updates “What I Learned From Sequencing the Bacteria in My Apartment”

. Sarah Zhang at Wired has updated her post from three years ago about bacteria in her apratment with reference to a new study just published from the Wildlife of Your Homes study of bacteria and fungi in homes.  Definitely worth a look. Source: What I Learned From Sequencing the Bacteria in My Apartment | …

IARPA getting interested in microbial biogeography, citizen microbiology, and more #microBEnet

Well, this is very very interesting: Request for Information (RFI): Ecology Meets Genomics – Federal Business Opportunities: Opportunities. IARPA – the equivalent of DARPA for the intelligence agencies – is getting into microbial biogeography (for forensic purposes).  They are seeking comments on the general topic.  From the call: We hypothesize that by correlating the genetic information …