Journal Club: “Microwave detection and quantification of water hidden in and on building materials…”

Just a quick journal club post here, got pointed to this really interesting sounding article by David Thaler recently “Microwave detection and quantification of water hidden in and on building materials: implications for healthy buildings and microbiome studies.” As I understand the problem, it can be hard to quantify water in buildings, particularly water hidden …

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 …

When your space craft cleaning reagents become food for microbes 

This is really fascinating: Source: Team discover how microbes survive clean rooms and contaminate spacecraft Hat tip to Elisabeth Bik for posting about this on Twitter So cool: microbes actually feed on the cleaning products. Also cool: undergraduates as authors. Team discover how microbes survive clean rooms and contaminate spacecraft https://t.co/ox4kMawHko — Elisabeth Bik (@MicrobiomDigest) June …

Fungi for self-healing concrete

So I’d heard about “self-healing” concrete using chemicals that react with water to seal cracks, I’ve even blogged about self-healing concrete using bacteria embedded into the concrete (back in 2011).  And then yesterday I came across research talking about using fungi for this purpose.   Regardless of which method ends up working, I think these are …

An informative glimpse into the drug factory microbiome: Which bugs coexist with our drugs? The story behind the paper

The story behind: Toward the Drug Factory Microbiome: Microbial Community Variations in Antibiotic-Producing Clean Rooms (OMICS. 2018 Feb;22(2):133-144. doi: 10.1089/omi.2017.0091.) PMID: 28873001 [Preprint] It was in 2013, on my return to Cairo University after a couple of years as a visiting scientist at UCSD, that I met Amal for the first time. Amal was a fresh master’s …

New paper of interest on Hospital Plumbing and Carbapenem Resistance

New paper of interest:: Genomic Analysis of Hospital Plumbing Reveals Diverse Reservoir of Bacterial Plasmids Conferring Carbapenem Resistance Weingarten RA, Johnson RC, Conlan S, Ramsburg AM, Dekker JP, Lau AF, Khil P, Odom RT, Deming C, Park M, Thomas PJ, NISC Comparative Sequencing Program, Henderson DK, Palmore TN, Segre JA, Frank KM. 2018. Genomic analysis …

Upcoming reddit “Ask Me Anything” #AMA on the Microbiology of the Built Environment

This Friday, March 16th at 1:00pm (EDT), the folks over at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) will be participating in a reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) on the Microbiology of the Built Environment.  The featured experts are Diane Gold, Vivian Loftness, and Jordan Peccia.  All three were committee members on the NAS group that …

Toothbrushes and using them might reduce hospital acquired pneumonia

Well this certainly caught my attention.  A friend and colleague Tara Smith posted this link to Facebook: Sutter Medical Center cut pneumonia by 70%. The key? 50,000 toothbrushes. | Advisory Board Daily Briefing So I went to the site and found some very interesting details including: Pneumonia typically is contracted from germs that enter the body …