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USGS Scientists Participate in Genomic Aerobiology Workshop

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Participants of the Genomic Aerobiology workshop
Above: Participants of the Genomic Aerobiology workshop enjoy the sunny weather outside the meeting venue at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography near San Diego, Calif. [larger version]

What's in the air we breathe—both indoors and outside? What methods and techniques, including high-throughput genomic sequencing, can we use to answer this question?

That's the short version of the questions posed by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the J. Craig Venter Institute at their recent Genomic Aerobiology workshop in La Jolla, Calif., June 19-21, 2006. The workshop was an opportunity for a small group of experts in the field to discuss the current state of microbial aerobiology: sampling methods, molecular and culture-based detection techniques, the composition of background microbial communities, pathogen surveillance, aerosol microbial ecology, and the research needed to move this field forward.

Two U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) microbiologists were invited to attend this workshop and contribute as panelists. Christina Kellogg discussed liquid impinger technology she is applying to the collection of microbes associated with African desert dust. Chris also summarized the current state of research pertaining to the long-distance transport of dust-associated microorganisms. Dale Griffin compared the aerosol microbial communities inside Carlsbad Caverns to the communities found in desert dust and described some of the potential pathogens that have been detected in African dust. Both Chris and Dale work on the USGS Global Dust Project.

The discussions and recommendations of the participants were recorded and will be collated into a manuscript for submission to a peer-reviewed journal.

Related Web Sites
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
philanthropic nonprofit institution
J. Craig Venter Institute
not-for-profit research institute
Coral Mortality and African Dust
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

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Measuring Hurricane Impact Along the Louisiana Coastline

Submarine Ground-Water Discharge in Santa Barbara and Hood Canal

California Sea-Otter Numbers Dip in 2006, Overall Population Trent Positive

Research Lake Whitefish Returning to the Detroit River

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Meetings Genomic Aerobiology Workshop

Staff Barry Rosen to Lead USGS in Florida

Publications usSEABED: Pacific Coast Offshore Surficial Sediment Data Release

August 2006 Publications List U. S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
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