Open Science Prize finalists include Open Air Quality and Real-time Pathogen Surveillance. 

The six finalists for the Open Science Prize were announced today.  The Open Science Prize is “The Open Science Prize is a collaboration between the Wellcome Trust, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to unleash the power of open content and data to advance biomedical research and its …

Tracking Superbug Infections

I just read an interesting article where superbug infections were tracked across Europe. Isolates had their whole genome sequenced and then the resulting visualizations were put online for people to see (you can also upload your own data to the site). Not only is this a really useful tool in terms of observing the spread of superbugs, …

From Watersheds to Shower Heads: A Workshop on Legionella Research and Policy

Legionellosis has emerged as a major public health threat related to the built environment, and outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease in New York City and Flint, Michigan in 2015 have drawn increased attention to the problem. Cases reported to CDC have increased more than four-fold since 2000 with over 5000 cases reported in 2015; almost all …

Next Phase of Sloan Plumbing Microbiome Journey! Brain-eating Amoebae and Recycled Water

Sloan has just renewed our funding to build on our foundational research at Virginia Tech that has established general factors broadly shaping the composition of the premise plumbing microbiome!  In this next phase we will focus on shifts in water chemistry and temperature, using brain-eating amoebae as a key exemplar (need to protect those brains!).  …

Patient Hand Washing And Superbugs

New research has shown that patients take more than astronomical medical bills away from hospital visits; they take away superbugs as well. This research letter published in JAMA Internal Medicine by Jie Cao et al., found that 24.1% of patients moving from the hospital to a post acute care facility had at least one multidrug …

How to Deal with Superbugs in Waste Treatment Facilities

The Los Angeles Times posted an article yesterday on “Deadly superbugs from hospitals get stronger in the sewers and could end up in the Pacific Ocean”. While there is some truth to the matter, it is necessary to approach it with some skepticism. It is well known that antibiotic resistant bacteria are extremely prevalent in …

Interesting paper on estimating microbial environmental data concentrations in a field setting

Got notified of this paper by some automated Google Scholar searchers I have set up (this one for papers on microbial forensics) and I thought it would be of interest to some.: Source: Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology – Considerations for estimating microbial environmental data concentrations collected from a field setting By Erin E …

Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak in Flint, Michigan

(Update:  after posting this I found that actual experts have proposed a different hypothesis) So the recent Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak in Flint, Michigan has been getting quite a bit of press recently.   For example in the last few days here are pieces from The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and CNN. The very short version of …

Microbial biogeography of a university campus

Saw this paper by Ashley Rose and Josh Neufeld, “Microbial biogeography of a university campus” and just had to check it out.  Basically the authors conduced a survey of door handles across 65 buildings and three time points on the Waterloo campus.  What I think it most interesting about their results is the finding that …