Microbiomes of the Built Environment Meeting 2 Webcast Videos and Presentations Now Available!

Am posting this email I just received: Good afternoon — The Microbiomes of the Built Environment: From Research to Application committee and staff are pleased to announce that the webcast videos and presentations from our second data-gathering meeting, held on June 20-21, 2016, are now available to be viewed. You can access the videos and …

New papers on microbiology of the built environment, July 9, 2016

Microbes and the built environment sensu stricto This short review in Trends in Microbiology is open access, very relevant for this blog, and received quite some press. Review: Buildings, Beneficial Microbes, and Health – Jordan Peccia, Sarah E. Kwan – Trends in Microbiology (OA) Bacteria and fungi in buildings exert an influence on the human …

Reflections on BioBE’s first Microbiome Science Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon

The Biology & Built Environment Center hosted a Microbiome Science Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon on May 27th, 2016 at the University of Oregon. You can view the MeetUp page for this event here. The objective of this event was to facilitate the contribution of microbiome science edits & topics to a globally-used, public knowledge resource (Wikipedia). We …

Abstracts for MetaSUB 2016 Meeting in Shanghai, China

Urban Metagenomics International Meeting Coming Soon! We are accepting abstracts and poster proposals for the 2016 MetaSUB Consortium Meeting (Metagenomics and Metadesign of Subways and Urban Biomes) until May 30. For details, please see our EventBrite Page here. The meeting takes place at Fudan University in Shanghai, China on July 1-2. Registration for the International …

Tesla introduces “Bioweapon Defense Mode”

Tesla Motors showed off some tests of their amusingly-named “Bioweapon Defense Mode” on their blog earlier this week. While the demo is raising some skeptical eyebrows among actual biodefense experts, you don’t need crazy movie-plot scenarios to imagine the utility of a more serious approach to indoor air quality in vehicles — air quality in …

From Watersheds to Shower Heads: A Workshop on Legionella Research and Policy

Legionellosis has emerged as a major public health threat related to the built environment, and outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease in New York City and Flint, Michigan in 2015 have drawn increased attention to the problem. Cases reported to CDC have increased more than four-fold since 2000 with over 5000 cases reported in 2015; almost all …

Next Phase of Sloan Plumbing Microbiome Journey! Brain-eating Amoebae and Recycled Water

Sloan has just renewed our funding to build on our foundational research at Virginia Tech that has established general factors broadly shaping the composition of the premise plumbing microbiome!  In this next phase we will focus on shifts in water chemistry and temperature, using brain-eating amoebae as a key exemplar (need to protect those brains!).  …

Use of Copper in Structures and the Growing Resistant Bacteria

Interesting article addressing the risks of using copper in human structures for its antimicrobial qualities.  Copper resistant bacteria could prove to be a risk for human health, as certain parts of the human immune system (notably macrophages) utilize it to dispatch potentially dangerous microbes.  While many places use copper as a safety measure against harmful …

Top 50 most wanted fungi

In this new paper in MycoKeys we present a set of automatically updated lists of the most abundant fungal species hypotheses known from sequence data, but for which little to no taxonomic information is available. If anyone can shed light on the taxonomic affiliation of these species hypotheses, we’d be all ears. Through a “built environment” switch, …

How to Deal with Superbugs in Waste Treatment Facilities

The Los Angeles Times posted an article yesterday on “Deadly superbugs from hospitals get stronger in the sewers and could end up in the Pacific Ocean”. While there is some truth to the matter, it is necessary to approach it with some skepticism. It is well known that antibiotic resistant bacteria are extremely prevalent in …