Detroit from the microbe-laden air (credit: ifmuth)

A recent paper by Bowers and colleagues found that the composition of airborne bacteria in Midwestern cities is strongly tied to season but only weakly differentiated among sites and not correlated to local weather.  Microbes in the the group’s samples were typically derived from soil and leaf surface communities that had been lofted into the atmosphere, but the study’s most striking finding – and its most unsavory – was that a large proportion of bacteria in wintertime samples were probably derived from dog feces.  Better understanding the outdoor air and its relation to indoor microbes is critical to the BioBE center’s mission.


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