Experimenting with a “microbiology of the built environment” Flipboard

We are always looking to recruit more people to contribute to microBEnet on topics related to microbiology of the built environment. And if you have something to say about this topic, by all means, we want you to blog here. Tell us your stories about your work about your projects about your outreach and papers and …

June 21 was International Swab Day for MetaSUB

June 21 was International Swab Day for the MetaSUB project. MetaSUB stands for “Metagenomics and Metadesign of the Subways and Urban Biomes”, an initiative in which experts together with citizens will study the microbial ecosystems of public transportation systems from all over the world. From the MetaSUB website: By developing and testing standards for the …

The Secret World Inside You at the AMNH runs through August 14

In the past, we have lamented the poor representation of microbes in natural history museums. And so I must mention that there’s a wonderful microbiome exhibit currently on exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The Secret World Inside You, is a microbe related exhibit co-curated by Susan Perkins and Rob DeSalle, curators at the AMNH. The exhibition …

Science Friday on New Superbugs

As posted in this blog last week, an article was published in the ASM Journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy on May 26 that describes the first discovery in the United States of mcr-1 gene, responsible for colistin resistance, in E. coli in a patient with a urinary tract infection. Colistin is considered an antibiotic of last resort because, …

Concentrations and Sources of Airborne Particles in a NICU

Hello everyone! I’d like to draw your attention to our just published year-long study focusing on little investigated topic titled: “Concentrations and sources of airborne particles in a neonatal intensive care unit”. The main outcomes of the study are the following: The contribution of outdoor particles to indoor particle mass concentrations was particularly low owing …

Built environment microbiome design charrette

During the winter term at University of Oregon, I led a design-oriented microbiome course for graduate and undergraduate students from a variety of disciplines (Architecture, Environmental Studies, Landscape Architecture, and Planning). Just for the record, these design students were VERY enthusiastic to learn about microbiome science, although they were somewhat disconcerted to find out how …

CDC and UN Still Not Being Held Accountable for Cholera Outbreak in Haiti

A recent Slate article by Jonathan Katz talks about a map that is displayed at the CDC – as well as the heavy implications of this map. Despite genomic evidence that the UN peacekeepers were the source of cholera in earthquake-devastated Haiti, the CDC and the UN continue to avoid accountability. UN peacekeepers from Nepal failed to set up …

Antibacterial Soaps Still Terrible

This article by Beth Mole is a fairly detailed summary of recent research on the effects of antimicrobial soaps. As we have mentioned before on microBEnet, antimicrobials increase resistance in the environment, wildlife, and people. In addition, the soaps are often not used for long enough to confer a benefit. The article particularly focuses on triclosan and triclocarban, …

You Know Your Field Has Made It When …

I have nothing to add to this. The Onion picks up on the recent study by Caporaso and colleagues A study that swabbed office buildings in major cities found that the bacterial profile of the swabs corresponded to their location, suggesting that cities each have their own “bacterial fingerprint.” What do you think? Source: Study: …