Get up close and personal with BioBE Center Director Jessica Green and postdoc Roxana Hickey as they discuss research on the human microbial cloud performed in collaboration with the Energy Studies in Buildings Laboratory! The Science Friday video released today highlights recent findings published by former Center member James Meadow and colleagues in the journal PeerJ, along with present and future research being conducted in the BioBE Center. To learn more, stay tuned for the Science Friday podcast on January 29th at 2 p.m. on Portland station KOPB at 550 AM and 1600 AM in Eugene or at 11 a.m. online at sciencefriday.com.
BioBE research is featured in a new article in GEO Magazine. Titled “Die Wildnis im Wohnzimmer” (“The Wilderness in the Living Room”) and written by Ute Eberle, the article discusses the human and built environment microbiome experiments that use ESBL’s climate chamber, and quotes James Meadow.
Check out the cool video at the end of the article!
Last week several members of the BioBE Center visited Boulder, CO for the 3rd annual Microbiology of the Built Environment Conference hosted by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. James Meadow presented our recent work on building-scale microbial patterns, the phone-hand connection, and the human microbial cloud. Adam Altrichter presented a poster (see it here) on our ongoing work with the Light Box experiments that Kyla Martichuski put together for a recent symposium at the U of O. Gwynne Mhuireach also presented a poster with an update on the analyses from her study looking at the bacteria in air from parks vs parking lots throughout Eugene. Check out the Storify put together from tweets during the conference to see what folks were talking about all week.
James Meadow and Adam Altrichter travelled to Minneapolis for this year’s Ecological Society of America Conference where they each presented work from the last year. James talked about the Roller Derby study in a ‘Community Assembly and Neutral Theory’ session while Adam gave an Ignite talk during an ‘Engineered Ecology’ session.
James Meadow just returned from the recent Applied and Environmental Microbiology Gordon Research Conference, held at Mount Holyoke College. He was presenting some brand new exciting results from our recent human microbial cloud sampling project. The talk was part of a Built Environment session, which was led by Kerry Kinney, from University of Texas, and included work presented by Jack Gilbert, from the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory. The session was enthusiastically received and we got lots of great feedback from fellow conference attendees.
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.