Last Chance to Be Koalafied!

My name is Katie Dahlhausen and I am A PhD student in Jonathan’s lab. I am crowd-funding a project to study this fascinating koala biology, as well as investigate alternative infectious disease treatment where antibiotics are not a viable option. Want to help out these adorable critters? You can support the Indiegogo campaign here, which …

Recent Built Environment Microbiology papers, June 8, 2015

It’s World Oceans Day, so I have included a couple of papers today about the anthropogenic influence on marine microbes. Other recent papers cover microbes in school dust, metabolites in houses with moisture damage, dental units, rust, and arsenic removal filters. Suggested song to play while reading this post: Jack Johnson — Only The Ocean Book …

Antifungal Effectiveness

A really interesting study from Rogawansamy et al explores the effectiveness of various anti-fungals on two common household fungal contaminants. They used a classic inhibitory disk assay, commonly used to test antibiotic efficacy and resistance. They tested Cavicide, Virkon, 70% ethanol, vinegar, and tea tree oil and found that the tea tree oil was most effective on both …

Antibiotic Alternatives

We write a fair bit about antibiotic resistance on this blog, but seldom about the alternatives. Obviously, medicine shouldn’t avoid using antibiotics altogether, but we do need better management and use of our current anti-microbial compounds. We also need new methods of treating infection. Nature News has a brief but informative list of antibiotic alternatives written by …

The Hysteria about Listeria: Thoughts on Food in the Built Environment

About a month ago, listeria found in Sabra Hummus caused a massive food safety recall across the US. So I got to thinking — how common are pathogens in the food we eat and how is this addressed on industrial scales? Food is processed, transported, and eaten in our built environments multiple times a day, …

A disturbing trend – casual and reckless use of antimicrobial agents in building materials.

There was a very interesting artilce in the New York Times on August 21 bu Michael Kimmelman: In Redesigned Room, Hospital Patients May Feel Better Already.  The article focuses on a move by the University Medical Center of Princeton to redesign hospital rooms.  And Kimmelman discusses a variety of issues associated with hospital design. And there were …