A Musing On The Future of Managed Microbiology of Built Environments

Perhaps you’ve heard about Dr. Premsyl Bercik’s recent publication in Nature Communications about the link between the gut microbiome and mental disorders such as depression and anxiety disorder. In his study, he induced early life stress in conventional mice and in germ-free mice by separating new born pups from their mother for several hours a …

Bleach and Its Association with Respiratory Infections

A 2015 paper from Casas et al (unfortunately no longer open access) investigated the effect of bleach on respiratory infections in young school-children. They analyzed information from Spain, the Netherlands, and Finland. Spain had the most instance of bleach use, which corresponded with a higher respiratory and related infections. On the other end of the spectrum, Finland …

US Program Seeks Comments on Connections Between Climate Change & Human Health

There are many possible ways in which climate change could impact human health.  The U. S. Global Change Research Program has issued a new draft report on this topic and is soliciting public comments about this report (see USGCRP Climate for more information). The report is The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: …

Research Consortium on Design and Health in Architecture announced w/ call for proposals

Posting this press release I got via email:   AIA Foundation, American Institute of Architects and Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Launch Research Consortium on Design and Health Request for Proposals Due October 15 For University-led Research  Contact: John Schneidawind 202-626-7457 johnschneidawind@aia.org http://twitter.com/AIA_Media For immediate release: Washington, D.C. — Sept. 16, 2014 — The AIA Foundation, along …

Blast from the past now free at NCBI: The Airliner Cabin Environment and the Health of Passengers and Crew. – Books – NCBI

Well, just got notified via automated Google Scholar searches of a new book in the NCBI Book collection.  This one seems of relevance both to studies of microbiology of the built environment and to some recent news stories: The Airliner Cabin Environment and the Health of Passengers and Crew.  It is a report from the National Research Council …

Harvard Magazine covers Sloan grantee Curtis Huttenhower’s research: microbes in transportation systems

In November, 2012, Curtis Huttenhower began work (with funding from the Sloan Foundation) to examine the transmission of human-associated microbes by public transportation surfaces. An article on “Big Data” in the current issue of Harvard Magazine includes a description of Huttenhower’s work in the lead article “Why “Big Data” Is a Big Deal.” After very …

“Black death was not spread by rat fleas, say researchers”

Yersinia pestis, Direct Fluorescent Antibody Stain (DFA), 200x Magnification. CDC 2057. Wikimedia Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. “Black death was not spread by rat fleas, say researchers” reported in the Guardian Reportedly it was “pneumonic” rather than “bubonic” as previously thought. Fortunately it was a very, very long time ago, although there have been many …

Found: “most toxic” metabolite from a very common indoor fungus

A just-published article by Desroches et al, “Extrolites of Wallemia sebi, a very common fungus in the built environment,”in the journal Indoor Air describes a previously unidentified metabolite of Wallemia sebi , a very common fungus in houses worldwide, although relatively more common in north temperate climates. The authors (including David Miller) write that it …

Flooding and Indoor Air Quality

In the United States, floods are the most common natural disaster (NFIP, 2013). Climate change is predicted to increase the frequency of precipitation extremes in the Northern Hemisphere, leading to increased flood risks (Min et al., 2011; Pall et al., 2011). Studies suggest both general flooding and extreme flood events will become increasingly frequent as …