The hot new 10 questions concerning the microbiomes of buildings will surprise you

Ok so I made this into Clickbait.  But you really should read this and that has nothing to do with me being a co-author. The paper is “Ten questions concerning the microbiomes of buildings” and it is in “Building and Environment” a journal that I am becoming more and more appreciative of every month.  The …

Journal Club: Factors Influencing Early Life Gut Microbial Communities

A new paper by Levin, A. et al was published open access in Scientific Reports entitled, “Joint effects of pregnancy, sociocultural, and environmental factors on early life gut microbiome structure and diversity.” The paper confirmed a lot of what we already now about what factors influence infant gut microbiomes (ex. breastfeeding, mode of delivery, pets, …

Green space influences human health and airborne microbial communities

A recent open access paper from the BioBE Center at University of Oregon explored the differences between airborne bacteria collected in parks and parking lots. Entitled “Urban greenness influences airborne bacterial community composition” and published in Science of the Total Environment, this interdisciplinary study combined research methods from microbiology and landscape architecture to answer the …

Science Friday on New Superbugs

As posted in this blog last week, an article was published in the ASM Journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy on May 26 that describes the first discovery in the United States of mcr-1 gene, responsible for colistin resistance, in E. coli in a patient with a urinary tract infection. Colistin is considered an antibiotic of last resort because, …

Outdoors, occupants, and the pan-microbiome: a review

Our group here at the City University of Hong Kong is interested in looking at microbial communities in built environments (BEs) of various sorts, including subways and residences. We have recently come up with a review article describing how outdoor and indoor occupants help shape a potential global BE “pan-microbiome,” the microbiome that encompasses BEs around the globe, which …

Urban microbiomes and urban agriculture

About half the human population now lives in urban environments. In 2008, populations of more developed nations were about 74% urban, while about 44% of residents of less developed countries lived in urban areas. It is projected that 70% of the world population will be urban by 2050, with most urban growth occurring in less developed countries. While there …

Microbial Effects on Asthma

Two reviews came out recently by Mutius et al and Smits et al discussing the link between microbes and asthma. Sadly, they are not open access. Both reviews suggest that exposure to microbially rich environments helps build the immune response and inflammation systems. The Mutius et al paper drew from research conducted on urban environmental microbiology using DNA fingerprinting to characterize indoor …

Effects of chlorine dioxide on bioaerosols in an animal hospital

An open access article entitled “Evaluation of disinfection efficiency in pet’s hospital by using chlorine dioxide” was recently published in Sustainable Environment Research. In this study, the authors investigated the efficacy of chlorine dioxide in reducing the concentration of bacteria and fungi in bioaerosols in an animal hospital. Chlorine dioxide is an effective disinfectant commonly …

Review on Techniques for Protecting Cultural Heritage Materials from Microbes

Many cultural heritage materials, like statues and scriptures, are lost to microbial degradation. For these important relics of the past to continue to stand the test of time, it is important to be able to effectively test and identify microbes that will harm these materials. This 2016 review from Sanmartín et al aims to evaluate traditional …