Guide to MoBE talks and sessions at Indoor Air 2018

So Indoor Air 2018 is fast approaching (June 22-27th) and there are a large number of MoBE-relevant talks on the menu.  The preliminary program for the entire conference can be found here.  Paula Olsiewski from the Sloan Foundation sent us a list this morning of the talks relevant to the Sloan funded microbiology of the …

New Release! Infectious Diseases in the Urban Built Environment Proceedings of a Workshop

On June 8, the National Academies Press released a proceedings of a workshop on Urbanization and Slums: Infectious Diseases in the Built Environment, available for free download here. The workshop rapporteurs have prepared this proceedings as a factual summation of the sessions presented by the National Academies’ Forum on Microbial Threats, in collaboration with the Board …

New paper of interest on how premature infant gut microbiome shapes the microbiome of NICUs

There is a new paper of interest from Jill Banfield’s lab.  I found out about it via Twitter: Study on the NICU microbiome out now in @MicrobiomeJ – The developing premature infant gut microbiome is a major factor shaping the microbiome of neonatal intensive care unit rooms. https://t.co/GEtMkLxwUy @bmbrook @MattagenOlmics @mcgrath_bio @dahanome — The Banfield …

NIAID seeks comments and suggestions on Tuberculosis Strategic Plan #TB #Pathogens

NIH/NIAID is seeking comments on their recently released Tuberculosis Strategic Command. See: NIAID Tuberculosis Strategic Plan Request for Information (RFI) I have copied the announcement from the release below: ——————————————— NIAID Tuberculosis Strategic Plan Request for Information (RFI) Purpose This Notice is a time-sensitive Request for Information (RFI) inviting comments and suggestions on the framework …

New report from NASEM: If Misused, Synthetic Biology Could Expand the Possibility of Creating New Weapons

New report on Synthetic Biology from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine that may be of interest. Synthetic biology expands the possibilities for creating new weapons — including making existing bacteria and viruses more harmful — while decreasing the time required to engineer such organisms, concludes a new report by the National Academies …

Where does privacy end and epidemiology begin? How much should we use surveys of what is in sewers and how far up the line should they go?

Question of the day. Where do we draw the line in terms of privacy when sampling sewer systems?  I have had some major concerns about microbiome studies using sewer system samples in the past.  And of course people are trying to use sewer system studies to look at all sorts of other epidemiology related data. …

New #openaccess paper of interest: Airplane Cabin Microbiome

  New paper of interest: The Airplane Cabin Microbiome | SpringerLink Abstract: Serving over three billion passengers annually, air travel serves as a conduit for infectious disease spread, including emerging infections and pandemics. Over two dozen cases of in-flight transmissions have been documented. To understand these risks, a characterization of the airplane cabin microbiome is necessary. …

Paper of interest: Predicting antibiotic resistance from full genome sequences 

This preprint seems like it may be of interest to folks: Precise prediction of antibiotic resistance in Escherichia coli from full genome sequences | bioRxiv Basically, the authors showed that, using a machine learning approach, they can quite accurately predict antibiotic resistance in E. coli from whole genome data. The emergence of microbial antibiotic resistance …

Fuzzy zeros in percentile normalization method to correct for batch effects

We recently published a method to normalize data that corrects for batch effects and allows for pooling of raw data across studies. In this post, I want to discuss more about the important (but potentially confusing) aspect of our method, where we add noise to the zeros before performing the normalization. I’ve gotten a few …

When your space craft cleaning reagents become food for microbes 

This is really fascinating: Source: Team discover how microbes survive clean rooms and contaminate spacecraft Hat tip to Elisabeth Bik for posting about this on Twitter So cool: microbes actually feed on the cleaning products. Also cool: undergraduates as authors. Team discover how microbes survive clean rooms and contaminate spacecraft https://t.co/ox4kMawHko — Elisabeth Bik (@MicrobiomDigest) June …