NASEM Webinar “Microbiome, Wastewater Treatment, and Antibiotic Resistance” 9/25/18

Just got this e-mail regarding an upcoming NASEM Webinar “Microbiome, Wastewater Treatment, and Antibiotic Resistance” on 9/25/18.  Here’s the description of the event: In 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released the report, Microbiomes of the Built Environment: A Research Agenda for Indoor Microbiology, Human Health, and Buildings. The report highlights the importance …

Another “more germs than a toilet seat” study and resultant media explosion

I’m torn between wanting to ignore this story and wanting to attack the media reports on the study.   I think I’ll compromise on a minimum set of complaints. Firstly, the paper itself (“Deposition of respiratory virus pathogens on frequently touched surfaces at airports“) is more or less fine.   The authors used real-time PCR to look …

Meeting: Applications, Promise and Public Implications of Metagenomics in Urban Settings

Just got pointed to a description of this 1-day meeting in New York on October 12, 2018… “It’s a Brave New World: Applications, Promise and Public Implications of Metagenomics in Urban Settings”.   Sounds like a great lineup of speakers and certainly a fascinating topic!   Meeting description below:   This 1-day symposium brings together urban microbiome …

Fluorescent biological aerosol particles in residence

Residences represent an important site for bioaerosol exposure because of the large proportion of time that people spend in their homes. Using real-time instrumentation, our recent study in Indoor Air investigated bioaerosol concentrations, emissions, and exposures in a northern California residence, focusing on the effect of human occupancy and activities. Using an ultraviolet aerodynamic particle …

Evolution happens: Bacteria becoming resistant to hospital disinfectants

Well, if true this is both troubling and not surprising: Bacteria becoming resistant to hospital disinfectants, warn scientists | Society | The Guardian The story reports on a paper in Science Translational Medicine. Some quotes: The results reveal that Enterococcus faecium bacteria have become more tolerant to alcohol over that time. “We found that the new …

This air resistance is a real drag: global survey of antibiotic resistance genes in air samples

This new open access paper from Li et al may be of interest. Global Survey of Antibiotic Resistance Genes in Air.   Abstract: Despite its emerging significant public health concern, the presence of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in urban air has not received significant attention. Here, we profiled relative abundances (as a fraction, normalized by 16S rRNA …

How important is hand-washing outside of a hospital environment?

I recently spent a weekend visiting a friend out of state and quickly came to realize that he rarely washed his hands. Before eating? No. After the gym? No. Even after going to the bathroom…and not just urination. No washing! I was disgusted and could not convince him of the same. How could an educated …

A new, and scary, fungus among us #MoBE #Candida

Fascinating, scary and really important read from Maryn McKenna in Wired: The Strange and Curious Case of the Deadly Superbug Yeast By the normal standards of outbreak, Candida auris signals a mind-bending shift—and it’s forcing researchers draw on some of medicine’s oldest practices to rethink treatment.   The article tells the tale of Candida auris a fungus that …

New #MoBE paper of interest: Exploring temporal patterns of bacterial and fungal DNA accumulation on a ventilation system filter 

This new #OpenAccess paper may be of interest to those out there thinking about microbes in the built environment. : Luhung I, Wu Y, Xu S, Yamamoto N, Wei-Chung Chang V, Nazaroff WW (2018) Exploring temporal patterns of bacterial and fungal DNA accumulation on a ventilation system filter for a Singapore university library. PLoS ONE …