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. …

Strategies & Techniques for Analyzing Microbial Population Structures (STAMPS) Course 8/3-8/13

The Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole. MA will be offering their “STAMPS”: (Strategies & Techniques for Analyzing Microbial Population Structures) Course this August (8/3-8/13). Course Dates: August 3 — August 13, 2016 Deadline: April 8, 2016 | Apply here Course Website Course Schedule Directors: Mitchell L. Sogin, MBL and David B. Mark Welch, MBL …

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 …

21st Annual International Meeting on Microbial Genomes at Lake Arrowhead 9/18-22

The meeting page for the 21st Annual International Meeting on Microbial Genomes at Lake Arrowhead is now up.  This has been one of my favorite meetings for many many years (full disclosure – I am now a co-organizer and have been for the last few meetings).  Note – the meeting is NOT just about genomes – it …

Job opportunity of the month: Director, Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, NIAID

Well, I am posting this here since I am hoping that they get a really really good person for this job and perhaps someone who thinks about the built environment along with microbes and infectious disease.  NIAID – the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease has a new job ad: Director, Division of Microbiology …

Hospital acquired infections – the good news and the super news (but not super in a good way) 

There are a bunch of stories starting to come out based on some press and paper releases from the CDC yesterday. One that seems well done is this from CIDRAP: CDC notes progress, threat regarding hospital superbugs | CIDRAP. Today’s CDC report focused on the six most concerning antibiotic-resistant bacteria and found better progress against them …

Wanted: guidelines for students (and others) for doing a journal club presentation

Just a quick post here to follow up on something I posted to Twitter.  I am trying to compile information and guidelines people have on “How do give a journal club presentation” for students in particular but also for others.  Any links, ideas, information, etc you have on this topic would be greatly appreciated.  

The social microbiome of the social honey bee

*This blog post highlights the backstory to my student’s project, which you can find here, on experiment.com. Discoveries in science can come from unexpected sources I became a scientist because my undergraduate mentor allowed me the opportunity to make my own discoveries.  While a young student at Swarthmore College, my then mentor Rachel Merz gave …