The BioBE Center’s newest experiment is working to find out how many and what types of bacteria a single person “sheds” in a few hours, for example, while sitting at your work desk.

We had a few folks in the Climate Chamber constructed and operated by ESBL at the University of Oregon in Portland. The Chamber is designed to test the comfort levels of occupants with the ability to adjust temperature, relative humidity, and air exchange rates with high precision.

For our experiment, the walls and floors were lined with decontaminated plastic sheeting to create a clean room environment while incoming air was filtered through hospital-grade filters. Air samples and surface collectors surrounded the person while they sat and played on their laptops for a few hours. Samples are currently being processed as we’ve begun to address the challenges of this uniquely low biomass environment.

Check out the pictures from this first sampling here.

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