A different suite: distinct fungal communities in water-damaged homes

How microbial profiles differ between water-damaged and dry buildings is not well known. It’s only logical that where moisture is available indoors, microorganism will grow. Yet, measured microbial products do not show consistent differences between wet and dry homes. Because wet homes are associated with a variety of health risks, it’s important to identify the …

Man-made microbial resistances in built environments

Antibiotic resistance has been assessed to rise to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world, and new resistance mechanisms are emerging and spreading globally. At the same time the number of people dying from antibiotic-resistant bacteria is increasing. The World Health Organization considers the spread of antibiotic resistance and appropriate countermeasures as one …

Wrap up of Talk by Maria Gloria Dominguez Bello at UC Davis

Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello gave a talk at UC Davis on March 11, 2019.  This talk was part of the Storer Lectureship in Life Sciences series. Her talk was on “The Human Microbiome in an Age of Disruptive Change” and it was really quite good. I live Tweeted the talk and if you are interested the …

Journal Club: “Microwave detection and quantification of water hidden in and on building materials…”

Just a quick journal club post here, got pointed to this really interesting sounding article by David Thaler recently “Microwave detection and quantification of water hidden in and on building materials: implications for healthy buildings and microbiome studies.” As I understand the problem, it can be hard to quantify water in buildings, particularly water hidden …

An Art + Science Pop-up Exhibit: Community of Microbes

The initial discovery of microorganisms by Robert Hooke and Antonie van Leeuwenhoek in the mid to late 1600’s was an exploration of wonder. The two were some of the first to visually journey into the microscopic realm with the aid of simple microscopes. They turned their gaze to the ordinary spaces around us. Pouring into …

Why every sports team needs a microbiologist: Slime, roaches, mice found at stadium food venues

OK this is a bit disconcerting if you eat food at any major stadiums around the country.  But it is interesting and worth a read. An Outside the Lines analysis of 16,000 routine food-safety inspection reports covering 111 pro sports venues found that, at about 28 percent of the venues, half or more of their …

Alfred P. Sloan Workshop on Viruses in the Built Environment in Spring 2019

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has approved a grant to host a workshop on viruses in the built environment. Building on the success of the foundation’s Microbiology of the Built Environment program, the workshop will convene researchers from academia and government agencies to address questions about the viral community and its dynamics in the built …

Closed access review of the MoBE field

Very torn about this.  On the one hand “Microbiology of the Built Environment” by Jack Gilbert and Brent Stephens is a great summary of the current status of the field.   On the other hand, it’s behind a paywall and I can’t access the article from my house where I am currently working.   In the interests …

Thinking about microbial quantity and function

One of the hurdles in linking microbial ecology with building science has been incorporating quantitative information about the microorganisms encountered in indoor environments, mainly because the standard high-throughput amplicon approach for community analysis is semi-quantitative, at best. Over the summer, there was a Twitter conversation related to this topic. My take-away from this (what I view …

How important is hand-washing outside of a hospital environment?

I recently spent a weekend visiting a friend out of state and quickly came to realize that he rarely washed his hands. Before eating? No. After the gym? No. Even after going to the bathroom…and not just urination. No washing! I was disgusted and could not convince him of the same. How could an educated …