What is the Exposome of the Built Environment and What are the Opportunities for Intentional Design?

  Researchers at Virginia Tech’s Center for Science and Engineering of the Exposome (SEE) recently published a critical review in ES&T examining the “exposome of the built environment” and proposed engineering strategies for its control. The exposome is defined as our lifetime exposure to chemicals, microbes, and radiation and derives from anything we come into …

Has “The antibiotic course” had its day? Some say yes, some say no or not yet 

“Should we always antibiotics until the end of their course?” Well, this has been a question asked on and off over the last 10 years or so.  And this I was quite interested in a Tweet I saw from Eric Topol this AM (I note – Eric Topol on Twitter is a better source of …

“The Resilience of Life to Astrophysical Events”

So this article doesn’t really relate to the built environment but is quite interesting nonetheless.  I feel like people often say things like “an asteroid impact would kill all us humans but life would still go on”.   The study, “The Resilience of Life to Astrophysical Events” is basically a bunch of math/physics trying to figure …

Random thoughts on science-based educational games, and a new article in Nature Careers

An interesting confluence of factors has come together in recent years, resulting in an explosion of “science games”. Some of these games use science as a theme, many are educational in nature, and some few even accomplish science through gaming.   In my opinion these are the factors that have precipitated this change: Board/card/video games have …

New Paper on the Hospital Microbiome

The microbial interactions we share with built environments play a central role in shaping the microbiota of our surroundings and in the development of our own microbiome. Nowhere does this microbial flux have more profound implications for human health than in hospitals, where rooms are subject to a constant turnover in occupant, each leaving behind …

A fascinating side story to brain-defect microbiome study – major role of the built environment

So there is a new paper out that is incredibly interesting and has been getting lots of press coverage.  The paper was in Nature: Endothelial TLR4 and the microbiome drive cerebral cavernous malformations. Sadly it is behind a paywall, so not everyone out there will have free access to it. But it is available in sci-hub …

This is calling out for a large microbiome study: Salt from icy roads is contaminating North America’s lakes

It seems to me that this is calling out for some large scale comparative microbial community study: Salt from icy roads is contaminating North America’s lakes – The Washington Post Basically, there is evidence that lakes throughout North America have seen a big increase in salt levels connected to salt used to try and deal …

Of possible interest: Special Issue on emerging aquatic microbial and chemical contaminants 

Just a quick post here.  There is a “special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).” that may be of interest.  The issue is on “Emerging Aquatic Microbial and Chemical Contaminants of Concern and Their Impact on Human Health” and it currently has seven papers and apparently more coming. A brief …

Journal of Bacteriology minireview collection on host-microbe interactions

Just got this announcement via email and thought it might be of interest. New eBook Special Collection of JB Minreviews Dear Colleague, The microbial world is a competitive place, and bacteria have evolved diverse strategies to sense their environment and survive in it. These strategies involve acquiring necessary nutrients, particularly when inside a mammalian host, …

Paper of interest comparing taxonomies of SILVA, RDP, Greengenes, NCBI and OTT 

Just a quick post here.  There is a paper of interest I thought I would call attention to: Source: SILVA, RDP, Greengenes, NCBI and OTT — how do these taxonomies compare? | BMC Genomics  by Monika Balvočiūtė and Daniel H. Huson Abstract: Background A key step in microbiome sequencing analysis is read assignment to taxonomic units. …