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 …

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 …

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 …

Where does privacy end and epidemiology begin? How much should we use surveys of what is in sewers and how far up the line should they go?

Question of the day. Where do we draw the line in terms of privacy when sampling sewer systems?  I have had some major concerns about microbiome studies using sewer system samples in the past.  And of course people are trying to use sewer system studies to look at all sorts of other epidemiology related data. …