Bacterial Yin and Yang of Cheese

Cheese has often been studied as a microbe-rich environment. The variety of interactions in one of the tastiest foods on earth (personal opinion) is still only just being discovered. A recent paper from Stellato et al attempts to study these interactions by swabbing and sequencing the food itself and the various surfaces it comes into contact with during the …

Microbial communities and biodeterioration of Auschwitz buildings

A new open access paper in Frontiers in Microbiology looked at the microbial communities found on buildings of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. I’m currently travelling, so I only have time to post the abstract here.  One Hundred Years by The Cure, a song about war and destruction, seemed a good choice for this post. …

Antimicrobial Resistance Countermeasures In Veal Farming

A new PLoS One article from Dorado-García et al. on the effectiveness of certain countermeasures to antimicrobial resistance shows some encouraging results. The study used MRSA levels as a positive indicator for antimicrobial resistance in Dutch veal farms. There were three methods of reducing MRSA levels in the farms that were studied: one program used protocol-driven methods, one used …

Maps and graphics for a participatory research project

I’m enjoying making maps of participants for kittybiome, a new participatory research project on the microbiome of cats. It was very easy to make this map using Google Maps. (And using Google Maps is particularly appropriate for the project because we have a celebrity cat named NDA, who lives with inventor of Google Maps participating in the project.) Here …

Schizophrenia and the microbiome

Mental health and its possible relation to the microbiome is a controversial topic in today’s news. Here’s new research suggesting that schizophrenia may be linked to the oropharyngeal microbiome, as the study found “high-level differences” in bacteria of people diagnosed with the disorder and of those without. If true, this could add insight into the …

UC Davis Egg Mobile Project

What’s that cool structure in that UC Davis research field? It’s an egg mobile! Egg mobiles are exactly what they sound like — a mobile chicken coop that can be towed to a different location, such as a different area of a pasture. There are nestboxes and roosts inside for the egg-laying chickens; they also have …

University of Oregon research on microbial communities in 72 homes

The University of Oregon published this announcement on AAAS’ EurekAlert: Oregon architecture researchers to study indoor air quality in 72 homes. So a good song to play while reading this post would be: “Portland, Oregon” ‌‌by Loretta Lynn & Jack White. The press release starts off with a short summary of this project: University of Oregon researchers and industry partners …

Breaking down human emissions

Microbiology of the Built Environment research these recent years have explored how humans are a source of microbes and microbial products indoors. To further study the effect of human occupancy on the biological aerosols of indoor space, our research group at Berkeley decided to move from observation studies to controlled experiments to isolate – and quantify – this …

Recent Built Environment Microbiology papers, June 8, 2015

It’s World Oceans Day, so I have included a couple of papers today about the anthropogenic influence on marine microbes. Other recent papers cover microbes in school dust, metabolites in houses with moisture damage, dental units, rust, and arsenic removal filters. Suggested song to play while reading this post: Jack Johnson — Only The Ocean Book …

Antifungal Effectiveness

A really interesting study from Rogawansamy et al explores the effectiveness of various anti-fungals on two common household fungal contaminants. They used a classic inhibitory disk assay, commonly used to test antibiotic efficacy and resistance. They tested Cavicide, Virkon, 70% ethanol, vinegar, and tea tree oil and found that the tea tree oil was most effective on both …