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 …

New papers on microbiology of the built environment, June 6, 2016

Microbes and the city The Metagenomics and Metadesign of the Subways and Urban Biomes (MetaSUB) International Consortium inaugural meeting report – The MetaSUB International Consortium – Microbiome (OA) Also see posts here and here. The Metagenomics and Metadesign of the Subways and Urban Biomes (MetaSUB) International Consortium is a novel, interdisciplinary initiative comprised of experts …

International Metagenomics Project Representative? I Volunteer As Tribute!

One afternoon while making my way through another DNA extraction, I was eavesdropping over the lab benches, per usual, trying to keep my mind occupied.  I overheard my project manager and another undergraduate discussing an unusual project.  “Do you want to contact the Sacramento authorities to get clearance to swab the light rail, because talking …

MetaSUB: First International Summit of Metagenomics & Metadesign of Subways and Urban Biomes

Get ready for a microbiome and metagenome festival in NYC! We are excited to announce the first international summit on metagenomics and metadesign of subways and urban biomes (MetaSUB), held in New York City (NYC) on June 20, 2015, at the New York Genome Center (NYGC). This will be held right after a related meeting at …

The long road from Data to Wisdom, and from DNA to Pathogen

I. Introduction There is an oft-cited hierarchy for data, wherein ideally it should flow: Data –>Information –>Knowledge –>Wisdom (DIKW).  Just because you have data, it takes some processing to get quality information, and even good information is not necessarily knowledge, and knowledge often requires context or application to become wisdom. For example, you could have …

From the WSJ “Big Data and Bacteria: Mapping the New York Subway’s DNA”

Great article about a great study.  Read them both. Failing that, here’s my short version: A study entitled “Geospatial Resolution of Human and Bacterial Diversity with City-Scale Metagenomics” came out yesterday that is just fascinating on multiple levels.  This article describes a large-scale metagenomics study carried out by the PathoMap project at Weill Cornell Medical …

If you think your city subway only consists of smelly disgruntled commuters, think again…

Note by Jonathan Eisen Last week I saw an interesting new paper in AEM entitled: Indoor-Air Microbiome in an Urban Subway Network: Diversity and Dynamics.  I thought it was of relveance of microBEnet so I wrote to the senior author Dr. Patrick Lee from the School of Energy and Environment and the City University of Hong Kong inviting …