Citizen Science Project on the Tomato Seed Microbiome

(cross posted to the UCD Microbiome SRP blog) What do you get when you combine UC Davis alumni, tomato seeds, and citizen science?   That would be Project GASP (“Germ”-ination Alumni Science Project).  I didn’t come up with the name, I swear.   This project, sponsored and paid for by the College of Biological Sciences at UC …

Story behind the paper: RtxA type 1 secretion system and other virulence factors in Legionella

So this work is a spinoff of a big project that we were involved in (but almost all of the work was done by Amy Pruden’s lab at Virginia Tech).  In the larger project, they examined the genomes of over 100 clinical isolates of Legionella pneumophila, as well as 10 clinical isolates from patients during …

Story behind the paper: Christensenlla genome analysis

So way back in 2014 a really interesting paper came out about a family of bacteria called Christensenellaceae, which was found to be the most heritable group in the human gut microbiome.  Furthermore this group (represented by Christensenella minuta) was furthermore associated with low BMI.  Most intriguingly, mouse work demonstrated that the injection of cultured …

Staying alive in the built environment

Skin-associated bacteria are abundant indoors. A comparison across studies shows that up to 30% of bacterial sequences detected indoors are associated with the human body (see Table 1 in this 2016 paper). I’ve been kind of skeptical that these sequences represented live organisms, however. Rather, I suspected the high proportion of sequences that were human-associated …

Journal Club: “Home chemical and microbial transitions across urbanization”

Another really interesting paper from Maria Dominguez-Bello and her lab and colleagues, “Home chemical and microbial transitions across urbanization”.  They’ve done some fascinating work in the past on the microbiome changes across an urbanization gradient and here they expand that work to include a bunch of chemistry data.  Definitely worth a read for anyone interested …

How does flooring type impact your indoor chemistry and indoor microbiology?

Carpets are a favored flooring type. They can be soft, cozy, and warm – and help with keeping noise levels down. Carpet can even help prevent injury. While these attributes are well recognized, what is less known is how carpet compares with other flooring types in affecting your indoor environmental exposures. To help address this …

Journal Club: “Pre- and post-sequencing recommendations for functional annotation of human fecal metagenomes”

This is a pre-print that just came out from several UC Davis colleagues.  I actually think the title is a bit misleading because these recommendations are a lot broader than just human fecal metagenomes.  Definitely worth a read! Abstract below: Background Shotgun metagenomes are often assembled prior to annotation of genes which biases the functional …

Network analysis of the Sloan-funded MoBE program publications

~15 years after the first project was funded, the Sloan “Microbiology of the Built Environment” program has pretty much wrapped up.  Here at microBEnet, we wanted to take a deeper look at the impact of the program on the published literature in the field.  There were over 300 publications from the program through the end …

The report from Kaunas: ISES-ISIAQ 2019

Last week, the International Societies of Exposure Science and Indoor Air Quality had their joint meeting in Kaunas, Lithuania. The meeting featured a lot of great research on topics ranging from the thermal comfort of clothes to exposure to heavy metals from e-cigarettes and everything in between. While we can’t summarize the whole meeting here, …

Legionella Report Release Webinar: August 14th, 11AM EDT

  Register Here Please join the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on August 14th from 11:00am-12:30pm EDT for the release of the report, Management of Legionella in Water Systems. The report examines what is known about Legionella occurrence in water systems, and makes recommendations for managing bacterial growth in these environments in order …