Microbiomes of the Built Environment
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
The Research Competitiveness Program, a unit of the AAAS, mobilizes the intellectual resources of American science, engineering and technology policy communities to improve research, development, and innovation practices.
To view speaker abstracts and bios, visit the program page or download the program PDF.
Recent research has revealed that tremendous numbers and diverse species of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa form microbial communities — or "microbiomes" — in the air, in water systems, and on surfaces of the indoor environments that we build. The AAAS Symposium on Microbiomes of the Built Environment presented the latest research across many frontiers and the potential uses of this information.
Topics included the relationship of microbiomes to:
- Drinking water and wastewater infrastructure
- Building design and environmental control
- Transportation, including airplanes
- The corrosion of our concrete infrastructure
- Hospitals and antibiotics
Plenary — Microbiomes and Worker Health: The Need for More Research
Keynote Address — The International Space Station as a Microbial Observatory: Benefits for Long-Duration Spaceflight and our Understanding of Microbiomes on Earth
Panel 1 — Indoor Microbiomes: the Diverse Microbial Communities Existing within our Buildings
Panel 2 — How do Microbiomes Differ Across Environments, and What are Their Impacts?
Panel 3 — Microbes and Human Health: the Direct Effects of these Communities on our Health
Panel 4 — Understanding Microbial Communities in Order to Solve Environmental, Energy, Biosecurity, and Other Issues
Panel 5 — State of the Field, and the Future