“Schrödinger’s microbes: Tools for distinguishing the living from the dead in microbial ecosystems”

A few years ago I was hearing increasing discussion about the idea that much of the microbiology of the built environment was “stamp collecting” and that the indoor microbiome might consist largely of dead or non-viable material passively deposited indoors.  Many people argued that there was a need for better tools (or increased use of …

The air microbiome of a zero carbon building: personal thoughts

  In the world of built environment (BE) microbiome research, we are by now well aware that building designs have influences on the indoor microbial assemblage. Therefore, BEs that employ a multitude of innovative designs, such as green and zero carbon buildings (GBs and ZCBs), may provide us greater insight on the mechanistic basis for …

New standards recommendations on minimum information about a single amplified genome (MISAG) and a metagenome-assembled genome (MIMAG) of bacteria and archaea

Of possible interest – a new paper (on which I am a coauthor) on standards for minimum information about single cell genomes and genomes assembled from metagenomes.  See link below: Source: Minimum information about a single amplified genome (MISAG) and a metagenome-assembled genome (MIMAG) of bacteria and archaea : Nature Biotechnology : Nature Research  

What is the Exposome of the Built Environment and What are the Opportunities for Intentional Design?

  Researchers at Virginia Tech’s Center for Science and Engineering of the Exposome (SEE) recently published a critical review in ES&T examining the “exposome of the built environment” and proposed engineering strategies for its control. The exposome is defined as our lifetime exposure to chemicals, microbes, and radiation and derives from anything we come into …

“The Resilience of Life to Astrophysical Events”

So this article doesn’t really relate to the built environment but is quite interesting nonetheless.  I feel like people often say things like “an asteroid impact would kill all us humans but life would still go on”.   The study, “The Resilience of Life to Astrophysical Events” is basically a bunch of math/physics trying to figure …

Random thoughts on science-based educational games, and a new article in Nature Careers

An interesting confluence of factors has come together in recent years, resulting in an explosion of “science games”. Some of these games use science as a theme, many are educational in nature, and some few even accomplish science through gaming.   In my opinion these are the factors that have precipitated this change: Board/card/video games have …

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 …