Recent papers on microbiology of the built environment: Microbes in buildings and food

Time for an update with recent papers on the microbes of the built environment. I have many, so I will break them up into two different posts.

Microbes in buildings

Microbial Density on Electronic Devices – Sulan Kith – Int.J.Curr.Microbiol.App.Sci

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 6.23.25 PMHuman participants each used an tablet, smart phone and media player for 20 minutes. We predicted that microbial density would differ among devices due to contact with different body part surfaces. We found no significant differences among devices but significant differences between participant groups.

The bacteria-fighting super element that’s making a comeback in hospitals: copper – Lena H. Sun – Washington Post

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 6.27.33 PM“We’ve known for a long time that copper and other metals are effective in killing microbes, so it wasn’t a great leap to incorporate copper surfaces into hospitals,” said John Lynch, medical director of infection control at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center, which is redesigning a waste-disposal room to incorporate copper on light switches and door handles.

Many language and scientific issues with this paper (including typo in the title that is still not corrected). Read the comments too. Metagenomic Human Repiratory Air in a Hospital Environment – Yi Yu Lai – PLOS ONE

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 6.15.53 PMHospital-acquired infection (HAI) or nosocomial infection is an issue that frequent hospital environment. We believe conventional regulated Petri dish method is insufficient to evaluate HAI. To address this problem, metagenomic sequencing was applied to screen airborne microbes in four rooms of Beijing Hospital.

The core populations and co-occurrence patterns of prokaryotic communities in household biogas digesters – Junpeng Rui – Biotechnology for Biofuels

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 6.32.36 PMHousehold biogas digesters are widely used to harvest energy in rural areas of developing countries. (…) In this study, 43 household biogas digesters were collected across eight provinces in China. Prokaryotic communities were investigated using 454 pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes.


Microbes in food

Open Access Review: Fate of Foodborne Viruses in the “Farm to Fork” Chain of Fresh Produce – Dan Li – Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 6.06.30 PMThis review intends to demonstrate the fate of foodborne viruses in the farm to fork chain of fresh produce, which include the introduction routes (contamination sources), the viral survival abilities at different stages, and the reactions of foodborne viruses towards the treatments used in food processing of fresh produce.

St. Petersburg home brewer pushes the limits with wild bacteria beers – Michelle Stark – Tampa Bay

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 6.34.47 PMFive minutes talking to Dave Himmelfarb and the conversation has already turned to the enzymatic process of converting long-chain molecules. We’re not in one of the classes the adjunct professor teaches at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg or Eckerd College. We’re in his home on a muggy summer day as he bottles his latest batch of beer, a dry-hop saison brewed right in his Kenwood kitchen.

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Elisabeth Bik

After receiving my PhD at Utrecht University in The Netherlands, I worked at the Dutch National Institute for Health and the St. Antonius Hospital in Nieuwegein. In 2001, I joined the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford, where I have worked on the characterization of the human microbiome in thousands of oral, gastric, and intestinal samples. I currently study the microbiome of marine mammals. When I am not in the lab, I can be found working on my blog Microbiome Digest , an almost daily compilation of scientific papers in the rapidly growing microbiome field, or on Twitter at @MicrobiomDigest.