Thinking about microbial quantity and function

One of the hurdles in linking microbial ecology with building science has been incorporating quantitative information about the microorganisms encountered in indoor environments, mainly because the standard high-throughput amplicon approach for community analysis is semi-quantitative, at best. Over the summer, there was a Twitter conversation related to this topic. My take-away from this (what I view …

Assistant Professor in Soil Microbiomics

Assistant Professor Position in Soil  Microbiomics with a 75% research, 25% teaching appointment. The Department of Ecosystem Science and Management seeks candidates interested in conducting research to understand the distribution, composition, diversity, and functional impact of microbial communities in soil-plant habitats. We seek individuals with diverse interests in soil microbiomes and in teaching related courses. …

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 …

So you want to run FACS on your microbiome samples…

So you want to run FACS on your microbiome samples… By Cara Pardon Although optimized for eukaryotic cell research, an increasingly common technique used in the microbiome field is Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting (FACS).  From sorting cells for single cell genomics to identifying the host range of a plasmid; from detecting metabolically active cells in …

Two new papers exploring the characteristics of infant microbial exposures

Early-life microbial exposure has been recognized to have a crucial role in immune development. Exposure in the actual infant breathing zone (BZ), influenced by the resuspension of floor dust, however, is little explored. Two recently published papers tackle this issue by assessing infant exposure to biological particulate matter (fluorescent biological aerosol particles, FBAPs) and microbial …

Provisional Committee Announced: Management of Legionella in Water Systems

Legionella is a bacterium found in drinking water distributions systems, as well as premise plumbing, hot tubs, hot water heaters, cooling towers, and other building water systems. At high enough concentrations and when inhaled, Legionella can cause Legionnaires’ disease and Pontiac fever, the former of which can be fatal if infected people are not treated …

U.S. Army MoBE Collaboration Opportunity

  Captain William A. Pratt, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, invites interested MoBE community members to discuss collaborative opportunities for three troop construction projects to be initiated in the next 6 months: * Bunkhouse construction project: opportunities to discuss building design options, indoor microbial monitoring * Lighting project for an existing structure: UV light testing, …