Is your spacecraft contaminating the universe?

An article at Space.Com discusses a new push to make sure that spacecraft do not inadvertently contaminate the places they are visiting (e.g., Mars).  What microbes are on space vehicles and how to make sure the parts that are sent to other planets are “clean” or “sterile” is an interesting and active area of research. …

From NC State: Citizen Science Effort Highlights How Little We Know About Invisible Life in Our Own Homes 

Scientists are announcing the discovery of thousands of unidentified species living in and around homes in the United States. NC State has a press release / mini story about the recent paper from the Wildlife of Your Homes project — Source: Citizen Science Effort Highlights How Little We Know About Invisible Life in Our Own …

Rob Dunn on “The First National Inventory of All Household Life (on a swab)”

In dust one can record the actions of storms, the wearing of mountains, the consequences of industrialization. The study of dust has a long history. Geologists consider it. Toxicologists too. Arthur Conan Doyle has Sherlock Holmes look to dust to discern where a criminal might have traveled. But perhaps the most telling feature of dust …

Sarah Zhang updates “What I Learned From Sequencing the Bacteria in My Apartment”

. Sarah Zhang at Wired has updated her post from three years ago about bacteria in her apratment with reference to a new study just published from the Wildlife of Your Homes study of bacteria and fungi in homes.  Definitely worth a look. Source: What I Learned From Sequencing the Bacteria in My Apartment | …

New papers on microbiology of the built environment, August 10, 2015

Here are the new papers on microbes in the Built Environment I found this week, about salt-loving bacteria colonizing old houses, viruses in swimming pools, sewer systems, urban water and soils, and microbiota in urban mosquitos. Here is a good ol’ country song to match this post: This Old House by Stuart Hamblen. Paid Access, review: Halophilic microbial communities in deteriorated buildings – …

Recent Built Environment Microbiology papers, July 27, 2015

A short post, with only 2 papers. The first one is about microbes detected in the homes of a French cohort of children, and the second one looked at the bacteria growing on plastic garbage found on the bottom of the North Sea. Here is your song to go with it: Miranda Lambert – The House That Built Me. Microbiological characterization of 3193 French …

Recent Built Environment Microbiology papers, July 20, 2015

I did not find a lot of recent papers on indoor microbiology, but quite a couple on the microbiology of drinking and wastewater, and some on ballast, pharmacy, and oil-platform water. Since this blog is all about water, I am playing The Waterboys – The Whole Of The Moon in the background. Free with registration: Acute Gastrointestinal Illness Risks …