Journal Club: Factors Influencing Early Life Gut Microbial Communities

A new paper by Levin, A. et al was published open access in Scientific Reports entitled, “Joint effects of pregnancy, sociocultural, and environmental factors on early life gut microbiome structure and diversity.” The paper confirmed a lot of what we already now about what factors influence infant gut microbiomes (ex. breastfeeding, mode of delivery, pets, …

CURES Workshop Summary

The past few days I have been attending a workshop by Erin Dolan of the CURES program (Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience) at Santa Rosa Junior College. More than ever, courses are transitioning from the traditional lectureship structure to a hands-on interactive research approach. We came into the workshop with a course already in mind, and used …

Journal Club: Antibiotic Resistance Higher in Airborne Bacteria Around Conventional Cattle Farms

This recently published closed access paper by Sancheza, et al claims that levels of antibiotic resistance genes and antibiotic resistant bacteria are higher in outdoor air samples downwind of conventional cattle farms compared to organic cattle farms as shown with 3 different methods. This comes as little surprise, as it wasn’t until December 2013 that the …

Time to Rethink your Eggs?

New research findings have provided helpful conclusions to help you become a more conscientious consumer of eggs. As summarized in this news article, findings related to animal health, consumer health, worker health, environmental impact, and affordability are outlined. The three housing types they looked at were battery cages, enriched colony housing (arguably more humane than …

A Musing on Microbial Community Disruptions

In light of the Cold Fire that started yesterday evening in the central valley of California, I started to wonder,  ‘what happens to microbes?!’ I found myself in a literature click hole of fantastic papers that studied how fire impacted soil microbial communities in several different ecosystems. What surprised me most is how fast researchers …

#TakeASample for National Citizen Science Day

I always looks forward to spending a chunk of my Friday listening to Science Friday. This segment is too good not to share… Science Club is back! Ariel Zych and Charles Bergquist, the awesome Science Club hosts, are celebrating National Citizen Science Day (April 16) with a new Science Club they are calling #TakeASample. This is awesome challenge …

Journal Club: Crowdfunding Science

What is better than Open Access?! Citizen Science AND Open Access! The March issue of JMBE was all that. You have probably already heard of Kittybiome and/or The Koala Project, 2 ongoing projects in the Eisen Lab. Both projects were featured in the paper, “Crowdfunding Campaigns Help Researchers Launch Projects and Generate Outreach”, published in …

Tilikum to Shed Light on Superbug Crisis?

You have all heard of Tilikum the killer whale. He’s known for killing 3 of his trainers and is featured in the documentary Blackfish. Regardless of where you stand in all of the controversy, Tilikum has been making the news once again due to an untreatable bacterial infection in his lungs. Here is the statement from SeaWorld: …