What’s in your tap water? Microbial communities across drinking water systems.

Guest post by Melina Bautista (@qmbautista) and Ameet J. Pinto (@watermicrobe).    The provision of safe drinking water relies primarily on disinfection as a cornerstone for pathogen control. Since its full-scale implementation in the early 20th century, it has become the standard final treatment step to inactivate microorganisms in most drinking water treatment plants around …

International Metagenomics Project Representative? I Volunteer As Tribute!

One afternoon while making my way through another DNA extraction, I was eavesdropping over the lab benches, per usual, trying to keep my mind occupied.  I overheard my project manager and another undergraduate discussing an unusual project.  “Do you want to contact the Sacramento authorities to get clearance to swab the light rail, because talking …

Microbiome Art by Joana Ricou

We’ve written about Joana Ricou before on this blog, and here she is again. This time with an exhibit featuring oil paintings representing human bodies and their microbiomes. The linked article also includes a video of Ricou discussing her work, which has been featured on the cover of a scientific journal and strives to combine science and art in …

A true must read: amazing essay by Tal Addaby “Less Disinfectant, More Rioja”

There is a wonderfully essay by Tal Abbady coming out in tomorrow’s New York Times (and available online now). A few years in Spain, and my mother’s last days, helped me see the futility of a sterilized life. Source: Less Disinfectant, More Rioja  The essay is about many things, including differences between cultures (pun intended …

A microbiology of the built environment April Fools’ joke

Well I am sad I missed this yesterday but there was an April Fools’ joke published in the Western University Gazette that had a microbiology of the built environment angle. “We’re holding Ivey business classes in there to decontaminate the premises,” Chakma said. Source: English Department relocated to broom closets | Spoof | westerngazette.ca “There …

Kudos to Marc Edwards, selected as one of Fortune’s World’s Greatest Leaders

This really made my day / week / month.  Marc Edwards has been selected as one of Fortune Magazine’s “World’s Greatest Leaders”. Source: Marc Edwards Here’s what they wrote about him Edwards, a MacArthur “genius” grant recipient, is one of the nation’s top experts on water contamination–and nowhere has his impact been bigger than in …

Sloan Microbiology of the Built Environment Data Analysis Workshop (secrets of QIIME, VAMPS and QIITA) April 4-5, 2016 University of California, San Diego

We are excited because the response to the announcement of the workshop has been awesome! We are expecting approximately 30 grad students and post docs visiting from a wide range of esteemed institutions who besides getting to enjoy sunny San Diego will be getting hands-on training on the secrets of QIIME, VAMPS, and QIITA. To …

A Figshare Collection on Microbiology of the Built Environment

I got an email the other day about a new feature at Figshare.  It was about a new feature they have called “Collections“. But before I describe that I should probably describe Figshare.  Figshare is a repository for depositing and sharing various digital objects including not just Figures (which they name kind of implies … …

Report: Laminate wood flooring risk was underestimated by CDC

There is a new report out Tuesday from the CDC National Center for Environmental Health and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).  It is an update of a report issued on February 10, 2016.  Alex Alexiev wrote about this error in a microBEnet post: CDC Error in Flooring Report. For more on the corrected report …