New paper: Taxonomic annotation of public fungal ITS sequences from the built environment – a report from an April 10–11, 2017 workshop (Aberdeen, UK)

The report (and the data) from our Sloan-funded taxonomic annotation workshop on fungi in the built environment was just published in MycoKeys: https://mycokeys.pensoft.net/article/20887/list/4/ Abstract Recent DNA-based studies have shown that the built environment is surprisingly rich in fungi. These indoor fungi – whether transient visitors or more persistent residents – may hold clues to the rising …

Provisional Committee Announced: Management of Legionella in Water Systems

Legionella is a bacterium found in drinking water distributions systems, as well as premise plumbing, hot tubs, hot water heaters, cooling towers, and other building water systems. At high enough concentrations and when inhaled, Legionella can cause Legionnaires’ disease and Pontiac fever, the former of which can be fatal if infected people are not treated …

Artist creates solid block of Beijing smog

As Beijing experiences its first “Red Alert” smog emergency, an aptly-timed bit of quirky performance art is making the round on Chinese social media and the English-language press today. A artist from Shenzhen who calls himself “Brother Nut” spent 100 days walking around Beijing with an industrial vacuum cleaner. He then collected dust into a …

A cloud of cloud things for detecting clouds

For the past couple of years, there has been a storm gathering on the horizon of indoor air quality monitoring. Nucleating around crowd-funding sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, these devices seem to advect along roughly similar trajectories. The teams working on these projects have created a sort of high pressure system wafting high-quality industrial …

Antibiotic resistance genes in “black gold”

Sometimes efforts to be environmentally friendly can give rise to microbial challenges. This was nicely described by Katie Dahlhausen in her recent post about water quality about green buildings. Other examples include observations that Legionella pneumophila can be contracted from shower heads and the use of low flow shower heads and lower water temperatures may increase its transmission. Likewise, wastewater (e.g., Environmental and …

Air Quality on Airplanes

Happy 4th of July! Given how many people in the US are travelling this long weekend, this article about air quality on airplanes caught my eye. And, while you are reading this post, may I suggest the following song: B.o.B – Airplanes ft. Hayley Williams of Paramore ? In this short article called Air Quality on …