Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is microBEnet? The microbiology of the Built Environment network, or microBEnet, is a project funded by a grant from Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Program on the Indoor Environment.  The main goals of the microBEnet project are to: Catalyze communication and collaboration among researchers funded in the Sloan Program on the Indoor Environment. Reach out …

Probiotics for buildings: A potential future application of current work on microbes in buildings

Year 2030 1:  Construct a building 2: Spray bacteria and fungi all around the building 3: Wait a few weeks and then open for business Sound crazy?  Not necessarily.  This scenario, or something like it, is the kind of application that could theoretically come out of current studies on the microbiology of the built environment. …

“NIST Finds That Ethanol-Loving Bacteria Accelerate Cracking of Pipeline Steels”

When people hear “microbiology of the built environment” they tend to think first of buildings.   But the built environment includes so much more, ranging from transportation (cars/planes/space shuttles) to swimming pools to highway bridges. The National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) has a test facility where they study biofuels.   They recently presented some results …

Travel & meeting notes from #IndoorAir2011 – cross post from Tree of Life blog

Here are some quick notes from my trip to Austin Texas for the Indoor Air 2011 meeting. About the meeting: I got involved in helping organize a session at this conference as part of my microBEnet project.  More on the planning and the meeting later but here are some quick notes just to get them …

Biogeography of molds in homes in the US #ERMI; relevant to #IndoorAir2011; #Standards

There is an interesting new (and open access) paper out: Geographic Distribution of Environmental Relative Moldiness Index Molds in USA Homes.  Before the Indoor Air 2011 meeting I just returned from, I would not have understood as much of what is discussed in the paper as I do now.  But I think the paper does a …

Fact Sheet: Microbial Ecology in the Built Environment

Summary/Key Points Microbes are found everywhere and are important everywhere. “Microbial Ecology” studies the interactions of microbes with each other as well as with their environment. It is important to attempt to study microbes as part of the community in which they are found and not just in isolation. Advances in DNA sequencing technology have …

“Germs” in cars

When people hear “microbiology of the built environment” they tend to focus on buildings.  But the built environment also includes things like trains, cars, planes, even the space station where some cool microbiology work has taken place. When looking for work on the microbiology of these environments I came across a small, non-peer reviewed study …

One reason why NASA should care about “microbiology of the built environment” #microBEnet

Ed Yong in his blog discusses a recent article he wrote for Wired UK: The real story about space bacteria | Not Exactly Rocket Science | Discover Magazine.  Some aspects of the story are very interesting.  What I want to call attention to here is that NASA (and other space agencies) should be VERY interested in …

Sloan Program on Microbiology of the Built Environment

microBEnet is funded by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation as part of their program on the Microbiology of the Built Environment. A conversation with Paula Olsiewski, program director, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation program on the Microbiology of the Built Environment What is the Foundation’s program on the Microbiology of the Built Environment? …