Paper can transfer bacteria too – hand to paper and back again

We recently wrote about moldy documents in French archives and a higher incidence of asthma among workers who handled documents than others working in the same spaces but not handling them. See our previous post: “Hands off the moldy docs (for your own good?)” Now we find researchers reported that bacteria can also be transferred …

Growing houses like bones … interesting system for studying microbes in buildings

Well this is both weird and very interesting: 3D houses “grown” like bones | SmartPlanet.  Sort of a combination of 3D printing, bioinspired design, and architecture.  Not sure what the future of this is but if they want to have walls that grow / respond to stresses they could consider making them actually alive.  Maybe it …

Answer to the seasonal flu mystery? – Indoor environment-microbe interactions

The Virginia Tech group has published another paper looking at the impacts of indoor environmental conditions on microbes. In this case, it’s potentially a key clue to the on-going search for an explanation to the seasonality of influenza puzzle. It’s not just airborne humidity but also the droplet. composition that matter. Past efforts to find …

New Sloan-funded program in microbiology of the built environment: Greg Caporaso, office surface microbiomes across climates

Another new Sloan-funded project in the microbiology of the built environment called “To analyze and model the establishment of microbial communities over time on different office surface materials in different climates”.   This project is being undertaken by Greg Caporaso at Northern Arizona University. Full description below: The goal of this project is to understand successional patterns …

New Sloan-funded program in microbiology of the built environment: Amy Pruden, Plumbing Microbiome

The Sloan foundation has recently announced funding for several new projects in the microbiology of the built environment, we’ll be describing each of them in more detail here. First is a project called “Effect of Pipe Materials, Water Flow, and Chemistry on the Building Plumbing Microbiome”.  This work will be performed by Amy Pruden, Marc …

Some building science questions about new study of NIH outbreak of Klebsiella

The publication of a paper “Tracking a Hospital Outbreak of Carbapenem-Resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae with Whole-Genome Sequencing” has drawn a lot of attention, presumably in large part because it occurred at an NIH facility. [http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/4/148/148ra116.full.html, DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3004129] I work on the microBEnet project as a “building scientist” to help achieve the Sloan Foundation’s programs goals of …

Yes, microbes in healthcare facilities are important, but fear mongering doesn’t help

Ugg – not impressed by this press release from Clark Seif Clark: Healthcare Facilities need to be Aware of Microbial Pathogens.  This release has some accurate points such as that people with compromised immune systems need to worry about pathogens in the world around the.  And that people with compromised systems can be harmed by breathing …

Richard Corsi on Indoor Air Pollution

Nice little post with an interview with Rich Corsi from UT Austin: WAMC: Dr. Richard Corsi, The University of Texas at Austin – Indoor Air Pollution 2012-03-01. The “Academic Minute” focuses on Indoor Air pollution. Corsi does some really interesting work on the built environment and we have written about him before a few times.  For …

Living architecture and synthetic biology – microbes will play a role

It is this type of thing that inspires me that a better understanding of microbes in the built environment could be of immense value in many areas: A Trip To The Living City Of The Future | Co.Exist: World changing ideas and innovation.  Certainly, we need to do a lot of research into making buildings more …