Copper as an antimicrobial? Industry as a funding source!

A recent microbe.net post discussed the use of copper as an antimicrobial to prevent infections in healthcare settings. This is not a particularly new concept, but unfortunately, the literature appears dominated by authors who received funding from the copper industry and its associations. Such industrial funding is not unique to copper and is, sadly, more …

Lessons learned: The microbes all around us and our buildings — and Jessica Green’s Nautilus article

Illustration (from OpenScar.com) an explanation of the beginning of the spread of SARS in Hong Kong’s Amoy Gardens apartment complex where the index case was in a building 60 meters away from a building where about 45% of the 300 infected individuals at Amoy Gardens lived. Many of the other infected individuals also lived in …

Database of indoor environment-indoor microbiome literature available

You can download the database of over 360 publications that report characteristics of the indoor environment along with the microbes found in the studies. Each publication is entered as a record and includes citation, abstract, keywords, organisms, substrates, and environmental conditions as reported by the authors. The database in MS Access format is searchable for …

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 …

Keith Redway’s lectures added to microbe.net web resources

We’ve just added a new link on our resources page — a whole lot of lectures by Keith Redway of the University of Westminister. The list includes the following: Recombinant DNA Technology & GM (3BIO7M4, 3BIO7X1) Laboratory Management & Safety (3GAM405) Medical Microbiology (3MED666) History of Microbiology Medically important bacteria Transfer of antibiotic resistance – …

European Commission convenes high-level conference to take stock on anti-microbial resistance in Europe

A conference organized by the European Commission on the European antimicrobial resistance (AMR) five year action plan and its future challenges is taking place in Brussels today, 11 December. The conference is intended to provide a platform to discuss this action plan at the mid-stage of its implementation, looking at the issue both from a …

Microbial VOCs and Health – report from Basel conference Indoor Microbiome Symposium

Many indoor environmental investigators have attempted to use volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by microbes as an indicator of the presence or potential health relevance of the indoor microbiome. These compounds emitted by microbes are generally referred to as MVOCs. The airborne concentrations of MVOCs is usually too low for characterization by the usual indoor …

Architecture that senses – managing the indoor microbiome for health?

Italian architect Carlo Ratti, Director of the MIT SENSEable Cities Lab, presents an entertaining Ted Talk “Architecture that senses and responds” on the use of sensors in buildings to monitor occupant behavior and environmental conditions for input to the management of the buildings and other human-made systems. Once we know the critical environmental variables that …

EPA funding opportunity: Indoor Air and Climate Change

Indoor Air and Climate Change URL: http://www.epa.gov/ncer/rfa/2014/2014_star_indoor_air.html Open Date: 10/23/2013 – Close Date: 01/23/2014 Here are some of the important details: Summary: EPA announces an extramural funding competition designed to support research that improves understanding of how climate change affects human health through indoor air quality as adapted by building designs and uses. Proposals should …