A fascinating side story to brain-defect microbiome study – major role of the built environment

So there is a new paper out that is incredibly interesting and has been getting lots of press coverage.  The paper was in Nature: Endothelial TLR4 and the microbiome drive cerebral cavernous malformations. Sadly it is behind a paywall, so not everyone out there will have free access to it. But it is available in sci-hub …

When a humongous amount of fungus among us is not a good thing …

OK – full blown mushrooms are not microbes.  But they are fungi.  And a lot of fungi are microbial.  So I am ignoring the multicellular nature of these mushrooms here – after all – nobody’s perfect.  Anyway – thought this might be of interest to those thinking about fungi in the built environment. Source: UPDATE: City …

New papers on Microbiology of the Built Environment, April 23, 2017

Catching up after a couple of busy weeks. Microbes in the hospital Diversity changes of microbial communities into hospital surface environments – Rika Yano – Journal of Infection and Chemotherapy ($31.50)  Previous works have demonstrated considerable variability in hospital cleanliness in Japan, suggesting that contamination is driven by factors that are currently poorly controlled. We undertook 16S …

Health + Energy Research Consortium

. The Biology and the Built Environment Center (BioBE) and Energy Studies in Buildings Laboratory (ESBL) at the University of Oregon, are pleased to announce the launch of the the Health + Energy Research Consortium!  On May 4-5, 2017, in Portland Oregon, we begin our journey to dramatically reduce energy consumption and maximize human health …

Reading: The Quest To Grow Cities From Scratch – Thoughts?

So I just discovered this article that was published a few weeks ago at Co.Design.  See The Quest To Grow Cities From Scratch | Co.Design by Meg Miller. It certainly is interesting, thought I confess it is out of my main areas of expertise so not sure about the plausibility or reasonableness of some of the possibilities …

Interesting long read on Healthy Building efforts by @Google

Got pointed to a very interesting long read story by Erica Hartmann on Twitter: Long read about how @Google is helping ID healthier building materials. Can’t wait to be able to use Portico! https://t.co/gdxDL8IUYq — Erica Hartmann (@ericamhartmann) February 6, 2017 The story is by Diana Budds at the FastCoDesign. It is definitely worth a …

Legionella in the News

A few stories of possible interest on Legionella Source: Call to increase Legionella controls at home and hospitals Occasional testing for Legionella bacteria in hot water services, air-conditioner cooling towers and other potable water is not an adequate safeguard against a disease outbreak, a public health expert warns. Source: What You Need to Know About …

Multiple Positions Open at University of Oregon BioBE Center

Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg and Jessica Green, of the Biology and the Built Environment Center (BioBE), are currently seeking a microbial ecology Research Associate / Research Assistant Professor / Research Associate Professor (non-tenure track faculty) to investigate fundamental questions surrounding the role of microorganisms (bacteria, archaea, fungi, protists, and viruses) in the built environment and …

EPA RFA on Reducing Public Exposure to Indoor Pollutants

New RFA for 2018–2020 now available! Closing Date: February 17, 2017Request for Applications (RFA): “National Indoor Environments Program: Reducing Public Exposure to Indoor Pollutants”U.S. EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation (OAR), Indoor Environments Division (IED) has posted a new RFA (EPA-OAR-ORIA-17-02) here, www.epa.gov/grants/air-grants-and-funding, and here, www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=290725. EPA expects to make between 10 and 20 awards. …

Using bacteria to do in situ construction of sorts on Earth and Mars

And it will change how we think about construction here on Earth. Source: Genetically Engineered Bacteria Will Get Construction Jobs on Mars | Inverse Not 100% sure what to think of this story but it certainly is interesting.  The basic summary: Jacqueline Ronson has written an article for Inverse about work by a group from Newcastle …