Nice video from Institute of Medicine: What do you need to know about infectious disease?

New video from Institute of Medicine on “What you need to know about infectious disease” which is useful and fortunately includes some information about things other than infectious diseases. It is based on this booklet. I note – it is heavy on those with apparent XY chromosome status, but maybe next time they will include …

Defense against bacterial biofilms on boats

When I think of things that problematically attach themselves the bottom of boats, I usually think of barnacles.   But bacterial biofilms can also be a problem, and can make the substrate more attractive to larger organisms. I saw an interesting story today on work focused on developing anti-fouling systems that aren’t toxic to the environment.  …

What common item harbors “dangerous” microbes today? Gas pump handles

We should have a recurring series on overblown stories about the microbiology of the built environment, particularly on findings that “X” common item harbors bacteria that might kill you.  So far in this vein we’ve discussed dishwashers, money, fast-food playgrounds, hospital curtains, HVAC systems, hospital scrubs, and pillows.  Some of these are good stories, but …

Norovirus long-term survival in water systems

Every time we see Norm Pace we get reminded that the “built environment” doesn’t just include buildings.  In particular, he points out there isn’t a lot of attention paid to the massive, understudied, and deteriorating water infrastructure in the U.S. Today I saw an interesting article about the survival of norovirus in groundwater.  Norovirus is …

Microbes, plants, biowalls and indoor air quality

When I first heard about the 5-story biowall at Drexel University I was impressed.  I’d often heard that plants help clean indoor air and it seemed that having a large experimental setup like this would be great.   Just to briefly summarize, this wall features 12 kinds of plants, all growing hydroponically on a giant mesh.  …

Bioinformatics Post Doc wanted to Work on microbes in the built environment at the BioBE Center

Jessica Green (http://biology.uoregon.edu/people/green/) and Brendan Bohannan(http://biology.uoregon.edu/ceeb/faculty_pages/Bohannan/) are currently seeking a bioinformatics postdoctoral researcher to explore fundamental questions in microbial ecology and evolution. Applicants should have a PhD with extensive training using bioinformatics to understand the ecology and/or evolution of complex biological communities, and strong writing skills.  The ideal candidate will have experience developing and applying quantitative community and population ecological …

Thousands of unknown viruses found in raw sewage

Viruses often tend to be overlooked in microbiological surveys of the built environment.  This is because they don’t show up in either culture-based methods (which are specific to bacteria or fungi) or the commonly employed newer technique of ribosomal RNA sequencing (because viruses don’t have ribosomes).  Even in metagenomic analyses where viral sequences are present …