Sloan Foundation at Healthy Buildings 2015 America

Greetings from the Healthy Buildings Conference Committee! We are excited to be hosting Healthy Buildings 2015 America in Boulder, Colorado, at the University of Colorado Boulder. Healthy Buildings is a unique forum for built environment researchers and professionals to engage with innovative projects, products, and services and to meet and collaborate with colleagues working on …

Mumps outbreak in the NHL

Let’s begin with a little detail on a current viral outbreak and finish with the indoor environment: Since October 17th, 16 NHL players and 2 referees have had confirmed mumps cases. The first diagnosed case was from a Minnesota Wild player, and then 4 other Wild players were subsequently diagnosed as well. Since then, players …

Open Source Building Science Sensors

This is just a quick post to introduce some early work products resulting from a really exciting project my team has been working on: the Open Source Building Science Sensors (OSBSS) Project (funded by the Sloan Foundation). The goal of OSBSS is to to design and develop a network of inexpensive, open source devices based on …

Comparing the new 16S rRNA V4 and ITS primers to the old primers-RESULTS!

The Knight lab has been working hard testing new primers for 16S rRNA amplicon production and its time to share our progress. So far, the 16S rRNA V4 region forward primer (designated 515f) has been paired with five different reverse primers (806r, 926r, 967r, 1048r, and 1391r) to amplify ribosomal RNA from bacteria, Archaea, and …

Swabs to Genome Workflow available as pre-print on PeerJ

Almost exactly a year ago we finally wrapped up our undergraduate project focusing on sequencing and assembling reference genomes from the built environment.  This project aimed to take undergrads through every step from starting with a swab to ending with a published genome announcement and data in NCBI. Over the course of the work, we …

Workshop report: Building science to advance research in the microbiology of the built environment

While recent studies of the microbiology of the built environment (MoBE) have greatly increased our understanding of microbial community structure and composition on surfaces and in air within the spaces in which we live and work, most have been driven and led primarily by microbiologists with the building science community playing a supporting role. Perhaps as …

Visualizing millions of DNA sequences – in your web browser!

I’ve been remotely following the Sloan MBE meeting discussions (happening in Boulder, CO this week), and yesterday there was a lot of Twitter discussion focused on data visualization tools. How do we make sense of the millions of DNA sequences we generate from microbial ecology projects in the Built Environment? I thought I’d use this opportunity to highlight …

The 11.4 million mile swab kit

I’m proud to announce that the sample collection for the building science component of Project MERCCURI is complete! In early May, Koichi Wakata from JAXA (Japan’s space exploration agency) collected swabs swabs of surfaces aboard the International Space Station. Back in June last year, Jenna, Wendy and I went to the Johnson Space Center in …