Request for Proposals: Sloan Foundation program in the Microbiology of the Built Environment

An official missive from the Sloan Foundation (PDF version here) Dear Colleague − The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has created a new funding opportunity in its Microbiology of the Built Environment program. The Foundation seeks to support up to four new studies of the microbiology of the built environment.  Successful projects will be either hypothesis …

New grant in Sloan Program: Microbes of built environments spanning human urbanization

The Sloan Foundation has made a few new grants as part of their microbiology of built environment program.  Here’s a description of the most recent, being undertaken by Maria Gloria Dominguez Bello at the University of Puerto Rico: Title: Microbes of built environments spanning human urbanization “Little attention has been paid to the microbes that live …

Everyone choose a genome (reference genome sequencing as an undergrad research project)

(cross-posted with modifications from the Eisen Lab blog) Not enough reference genomes from the built environment? Looking for ways to increase undergraduate participation in research? The marriage of these two concepts seems fairly straightforward.   Bring undergraduates into the lab, have them culture microbes from the built environment, then sequence and assemble genomes… one per student. …

“Measuring knowledge of indoor environmental hazards” – Rosenthal 2011

Here at the intersection of microbial ecology and building science we spend a lot of time talking about “what is known?”… or in most cases “what don’t we know?”.  In this sense “we” is considered the sum total of people working on these topics. Until this week, I’d never thought much about “what do non-scientists …

A conversation with Paula Olsiewski, program director, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation program on the Microbiology of the Built Environment

The driving force behind much of the new research in the microbiology of built environment is the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation which is funding a large variety of research projects, as well as microBEnet. For more information on their program, accomplishments to date, and goals for the future check out this written interview with Paula …

Homeland Security Funding Opportunity – Reference Genome Sequencing

Just a quick note about a funding opportunity of potential interest. The Department of Homeland Security “BAA 12-04  Whole Genome Approach to Microbial Forensics (WGAMF)” program has a grant called “Whole-genome sequencing to capture the global biodiversity of human, plant and animal pathogens (bacterial, viral and fungal) in support of microbial forensics analysis” https://baa2.st.dhs.gov/portal/public/Menu.action?page=baa_current_solicitations Here’s the …

Advances in imaging the oral microbiome would have interesting applications in the built environment

When we talk about “community structure” in microbial ecology we are usually referring to the composition and frequency of various species in that community, information often arrived at through rRNA sequencing and/or metagenomics. But there is of course also a “real” structure of communities, particularly in biofilms.  Some species tend to be physically associated with …

“Microbial Home” by Philips takes a futuristic, holistic, positive look at microbes in the home

As with our recent musings on probiotics for buildings, sometimes it’s fun and productive to think about the distant future in the microbiology of the built environment. And Royal Philips Electronics (Netherlands) has done just that with their futuristic “Microbial Home” project.  I’m not saying every one of their ideas will work, or that I’m …