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 …

An Art + Science Pop-up Exhibit: Community of Microbes

The initial discovery of microorganisms by Robert Hooke and Antonie van Leeuwenhoek in the mid to late 1600’s was an exploration of wonder. The two were some of the first to visually journey into the microscopic realm with the aid of simple microscopes. They turned their gaze to the ordinary spaces around us. Pouring into …

Why every sports team needs a microbiologist: Slime, roaches, mice found at stadium food venues

OK this is a bit disconcerting if you eat food at any major stadiums around the country.  But it is interesting and worth a read. An Outside the Lines analysis of 16,000 routine food-safety inspection reports covering 111 pro sports venues found that, at about 28 percent of the venues, half or more of their …

Alfred P. Sloan Workshop on Viruses in the Built Environment in Spring 2019

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has approved a grant to host a workshop on viruses in the built environment. Building on the success of the foundation’s Microbiology of the Built Environment program, the workshop will convene researchers from academia and government agencies to address questions about the viral community and its dynamics in the built …

Closed access review of the MoBE field

Very torn about this.  On the one hand “Microbiology of the Built Environment” by Jack Gilbert and Brent Stephens is a great summary of the current status of the field.   On the other hand, it’s behind a paywall and I can’t access the article from my house where I am currently working.   In the interests …

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 …

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 …

Guide to MoBE talks and sessions at Indoor Air 2018

So Indoor Air 2018 is fast approaching (June 22-27th) and there are a large number of MoBE-relevant talks on the menu.  The preliminary program for the entire conference can be found here.  Paula Olsiewski from the Sloan Foundation sent us a list this morning of the talks relevant to the Sloan funded microbiology of the …

New Release! Infectious Diseases in the Urban Built Environment Proceedings of a Workshop

On June 8, the National Academies Press released a proceedings of a workshop on Urbanization and Slums: Infectious Diseases in the Built Environment, available for free download here. The workshop rapporteurs have prepared this proceedings as a factual summation of the sessions presented by the National Academies’ Forum on Microbial Threats, in collaboration with the Board …

New paper of interest on how premature infant gut microbiome shapes the microbiome of NICUs

There is a new paper of interest from Jill Banfield’s lab.  I found out about it via Twitter: Study on the NICU microbiome out now in @MicrobiomeJ – The developing premature infant gut microbiome is a major factor shaping the microbiome of neonatal intensive care unit rooms. https://t.co/GEtMkLxwUy @bmbrook @MattagenOlmics @mcgrath_bio @dahanome — The Banfield …