Ever wonder what microbes are in your showerhead? Well, looks like maybe you should care …

Completely fascinating, and a wee bit terrifying new paper worth a read:: Ecological Analyses of Mycobacteria in Showerhead Biofilms and Their Relevance to Human Health Abstract: Bacteria within the genus Mycobacterium can be abundant in showerheads, and the inhalation of aerosolized mycobacteria while showering has been implicated as a mode of transmission in nontuberculous mycobacterial …

Fungi and bacteria and lice, oh my! These are some of Rob Dunn’s favorite things. 

Source: Opinion | Discovering the Great Indoors Definitely worth checking out this opinion piece in the NY Times bye Rob Dunn on “Discovering the Great Indoors”. It has a bit about Van Leeuwenhoek, and bits about fungi and lice and bacteria and tardigrades and foldscope and more.  Rob Dunn is really one of the great …

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 …