Humans as collectors and emitters of environmental microbes

As part of the Healthy Buildings 2015 America Conference, there was a technical session on Indoor Microbiome Research where we discussed strategies on, among other things, how to sample and analyze bioaerosols using modern high throughput sequencing techniques. In that workshop, we did a small exercise highlighting the potential for humans to transport microbes into …

What kind of DNA lingers on ATM keypads? Your food, your skin microbes…and (maybe) parasites

Amidst the November/December holiday chaos, myself and co-authors were proud to witness the publication of a neat new paper focused on ATM keypads in New York City. Yes, just like all other surfaces in the Built Environment, those ATM keypads are harboring lots of microbes and bits of orphaned DNA! This ATM keypad study was work that …

The concept of hygiene and the human microbiome.

(This post was written by Roo Vandegrift at the University of Oregon) I was recently asked to spearhead the writing of a review centered around the interaction between the concept of hygiene and our increasingly nuanced understanding of the human skin microbiome for the Biology and the Built Environment (BioBE) Center at the University of …

New papers on Microbiology of the Built Environment, January 7, 2017

Microbes around the house Editorial: An emerging paradox: Toward a better understanding of the potential benefits and adversity of microbe exposures in the indoor environment – J. Mensah-Attipoe – Indoor Air (OA) In order to further explore indoor microbial exposures and their associated health effects, and to help establish research agenda priorities, a two-day workshop to …

Upcoming National Academies Study on Legionella in Drinking Water Systems

Just got this from the a representative of the National Academy of Sciences who asked me to post here. UPDATED June 13, 2017 (based on email from NAS) Scope of work: An ad hoc committee of The National Academies will review the state of science with respect to Legionella contamination of water systems and issue …

Paper of interest: Environmental Viral Metagenomics Analyses in Aquaculture

Just a quick post here.  Studies of the microbiology of built environments that house animals (e.g., aquaria, farms, animal shelters, zoos, etc) are of growing interest for multiple reasons.  In that regard this paper might be of interest to some – because it covers some topics that are sometimes neglected in this general area – viral diversity …

New papers on Microbiology of the Built Environment, December 24, 2016

Microbes and buildings Bacterial Hygromorphs: Experiments into the integration of soft technologies into building skins – ACADIA 2016: Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture – Carolina Ramirez-Figueroa – Newcastle University (OA) The last few years has seen an increase in the interest to bring living systems into the process of design. Work with living systems, nonetheless, presents …

New papers on Microbiology of the Built Environment, December 16, 2016

Microbes of old Microbiology Meets Archaeology: Soil Microbial Communities Reveal Different Human Activities at Archaic Monte Iato (Sixth Century BC) – Rosa Margesin – Microbial Ecology (OA) Microbial ecology has been recognized as useful in archaeological studies. At Archaic Monte Iato in Western Sicily, a native (indigenous) building was discovered. The objective of this study …

New papers on Microbiology of the Built Environment, December 10, 2016

Microbes on buildings Analysis of dark crusts on the church of Nossa Senhora do Carmo in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, using chemical, microscope and metabarcoding microbial identification techniques – Christine Gaylarde – International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation ($35.95) The dark crust on the surface of the Nossa Senhora do Carmo church, in the centre of Rio …

New papers on Microbiology of the Built Environment, December 3, 2016

Microbes and money Dirty Money: A Matter of Bacterial Survival, Adherence, and Toxicity – Frank Vriesekoop – Microorganisms (OA) In this study we report the underlying reasons to why bacteria are present on banknotes and coins. (…) We treated the various currencies used in this study as microcosms, and the bacterial loading from human hands as …