Interesting new paper on green building water systems  

There is a new open access paper of possible interest to those working on water systems, green buildings, and/or microbial ecology: Survey of green building water systems reveals elevated water age and water quality concerns – Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology (RSC Publishing) DOI:10.1039/C5EW00221D By William J. Rhoads, Amy Pruden and Marc A. Edwards in Environmental …

Today in “where’s the pathogen?” Can you find Burkholderia on 500 acres with 50 samples?

Well, this story is a wee bit disturbing: Deadly bacteria release sparks concern at Louisiana lab. Summary from USA Today: Officials are investigating how a deadly type of bacteria was released from a high-security laboratory at the Tulane National Primate Center in Louisiana. Officials say there is no risk to the public. Many parts of the …

Toilet Ecology

Today, humans spend ~90% of their lives roaming the ‘great indoors’, which is very different from the outdoor environments where we co-evolved with our commensal microbiota (Kelley and Gilbert, 2013). We are just beginning to understand how the design of built environments (BEs) influences our microbiome, and how these interactions, in turn, might affect human …

How dirty is your money?

Harper Adams University in the UK recently posted a news article describing some intriguing work being done by Senior Lecturer Frank Vriesekoop, who has been investigating, among a slew of other interesting topics, whether banknotes can transfer bacteria, including pathogens.  The original paper (unfortunately, not Open Access) in which his work was reported can be found here. …

Not all pathogen research should be done

Recently, a bit of an uproar occurred when the CDC reported that workers there had been accidentally exposed to the bacterium that causes anthrax.  The lesson from this?  Well, I think it is simple.  Accidents happen.  And they can happen anywhere to anyone.  No matter how careful one is. A few days ago a friend …

New study from UK: closing windows increases infection risk

UPDATED AT BOTTOM – TURNS OUT NEWS STORY WAS VERY MISLEADING Wow.  Just got pointed to this news story: BBC News – Closing hospital windows ‘increases infection risk’.  It reports on work from Cath Noakes from the University of Leeds.  The work is published in a non open-access journal “Building and Environment” which I do not …

microBEnet Microbiology blog of the day: Coastal Pathogens by William Gaze and Michiel Vos

Going through the list of Microbiology Blogs we have curated at microBEnet and going to try to feature one of them every day or so.  And just going to do this in semi-alphabetic order. Today’s blog: Coastal Pathogens Author: William Gaze and Michiel Vos at the Coastal Pathogen Group at the European Centre for Environment and Human Health in …

Microbiology blog of the day: BacPathGenomics

Going through the list of Microbiology Blogs we have curated at microBEnet and going to try to feature one of them every day or so.  And just going to do this in semi-alphabetic order. Today’s blog: BacPathGenomics Author: Kat Holt Tagline/Summary: Genomics and evolution of bacterial pathogens Recent Posts: Metagenomics analysis special issue in Briefings in Bioinformatics Phage annotation …

Reports (2) from Indoor Air sessions on microbiology of the built environment

Things that jumped out at me from the afternoon session today.  For the morning session see here. Norm Pace (CU Boulder) made the point during questions that when we talk about “pathogens” in metagenomic environmental sequences, what we really mean is “sequences related to pathogens” and that probably most of those sequences don’t come from …