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 …

Researchers explore natural solution to rid household plumbing of dangerous pathogens

Just a quick post to point out an article on phys.org talking about Amy Pruden’s fascinating work on probiotics for plumbing.   Read her microBEnet post about the work here and a related post by Kyle Bibby here. From the phys.org article: “We believe this microbiome can be harnessed to control opportunistic pathogens,” Pruden said. For …

Probiotics for Plumbing?

Hats off to Tuesday’s New York Times article, “A Quest for Even Safer Drinking Water,” for daring to bring microbiology to the people.  The article sheds light several key reasons we can no longer afford to ignore the vast microbial diversity that exists within the drinking water environment, among them are opportunistic pathogens and antibiotic …

New Project in Microbiology of the Built Environment: Kyle Bibby

The Sloan Program in the Microbiology of the Built Environment awarded a few new grants this spring.   The first of these was to Kyle Bibby at the University of Pittsburgh called “Microbial Ecology Dynamics of Hospital Premise Plumbing Following the Introduction of an On-Site Monochloramine Disinfection System”.  The project is being conducted in collaboration with …

New Sloan-funded program in microbiology of the built environment: Amy Pruden, Plumbing Microbiome

The Sloan foundation has recently announced funding for several new projects in the microbiology of the built environment, we’ll be describing each of them in more detail here. First is a project called “Effect of Pipe Materials, Water Flow, and Chemistry on the Building Plumbing Microbiome”.  This work will be performed by Amy Pruden, Marc …

“Toxic fungus thrives in bathroom sinks” – a sequence-based examination of Fusarium in homes and buildings

Another “scary microbe that lives in your house/office/car” story.  In this case, the fungi Fusarium which can be pathogenic, particularly for people with immune deficiencies.   To be fair, the authors of the scientific study take pains to point out that “the serious infections caused by fusaria are relatively uncommon and that these fungi may even …