Major lesson from #ASM2012 meeting: microblogs & microbiology go together well

Well without a doubt the biggest surprise to me of the American Society for Microbiology General Meeting was the massive increase in the use of Twitter compared to previous years.  Microbiologist are clearly just way way ahead of the curve compared to other scientists on this.  The tweets and retweets and discussion of tweets was so extensive that #ASM2012 was a trending topic on twitter for much of the time during the meeting:

For those not familiar with Twitter – this abbreviation w/ the # is known as a hashtag – and if everyone at a meeting uses this hashtag in their posts about the meeting then it is easy to keep track of all the meeting posts by searching for posts with that hashtag.  Such searches can be done in real time with various Twitter clients or via the Twitter website.

And if you followed in real time the #ASM2012 you were treated to a broad real-time coverage of pretty much the whole meeting.  At most broadly focused science meetings I have been at recently – even ones with 1000s of people like #AAAS – the use of Twitter has been relatively limited at best.  Sometimes a single session is covered well but very rarely is the whole meeting covered.  So this ASM meeting was indeed different.

I tried to create a “Storification” of all the Tweets from the meeting but Storify seems to crash when one includes so many tweets so that did not work.

So I tried to create my own archive via Twitter – by copying and pasting the posts from each day (some got left out here but it is decent coverage).   It is not as pretty as Storification but it works.  Still working on a full archive but Twitter makes it kind of difficult to do alas.

One thing missing however was the use of microbiology related hashtags for topics.  Seems we really need to get some coordination here to make it easier to search through and find tweets of interest.  Here are some I have used in the past and may be worth using if you want more people to notice your tweets.


Anyway – keep up the good work all you microbe-focused tweeters.  And though microblogging (i.e., Twitter and related things) is great – don’t forget to blog too.  See my growing list of microbiology related blogs and please add to it – either if you know of ones I missed – or by creating your own.

Quick summary of session at #ASM2012 on “The Great Indoors” #microBEnet

 The session at the ASM 2012 meeting on “The Great Indoors” seems to have gone well. I will be writing up a more detailed report but here is a quick summary done via “Storify”.[<a href=”” target=”_blank”>View the story “Session at #ASM2012 on The Great Indoors: Recent Advances in the Ecology of Built Environments ” on Storify</a>]

Collecting links to blogs that focus entirely or partly on microbiology topics #ASM2012

Making a list of blogs that focus entirely or partly on microbiology topics.  Here are some.  Would love suggestions for others. Obviously not all are of equal quality in terms of the writing or the science but the diversity is impressive.

  1. Aetiology from Tara Smith
  2. A Flu Diary
  4. Antibiotics: the perfect storm from David Shlaes
  5. Antimicrobial Resistance from Miriam Barlow
  6. Aspergillus Website Blog
  7. Avian Flu Diary
  8. BacterioFiles from Jesse Noar
  9. Bacpathogenomics
  10. Bacteriophage, microbiology and the battle for funding from Philip Skipper
  11. BioBE center Blog:
  12. Blastocystis Blog:
  13. Barf Blog 
  14. Chimeras
  15. CoastalPathogens
  16. Contagions from Michelle Ziegler
  17. Controversies in Hospital Infection Prevention
  18. Creepy Deadly Wonderful Parasites
  19. Curiosidades de la Microbiología…
  20. Cyanobacterial Adventures
  21. Daily Parasite
  22. Daniel Wilson’s Blog
  23. Dawn in Antarctica
  24. El buit del temps
  25. End the Neglect
  26. Epidemonomics
  27. ERV from Abbie Smith
  28. Food Poison Journal
  29. Food Safety and Environmental Health blog
  30. Foraminifera Blog
  31. Fun with Microbiology (What’s Buggin’ You?)
  32. History of Vaccines
  33. HIV This Week
  34. Hospital Infection Control and Prevention
  35. Human Microbiome Journal Club
  36. Indian Initiative for Management of Antibiotic Resistance
  37. Infection Landscapes
  38. Infectious Diseases Today
  39. International AIDS Vaccine Initiative 
  40. It’s a small world
  41. Jason Tetro at the Huffington Post *
  42. JHU Phage Hunters
  43. Lab Rat…
  44. mBIO
  45. Malaria World
  46. Matryoshka from Jeff Smith
  47. Memory Reactivation
  48. Memoirs of a Defective Brain
  49. microbelog
  50. MicroBichitos
  51. Microbial Diversity from Irene Newton
  52. microBEnet blog from Jonathan Eisen, David Coil, Holly Bik 
  53. Microbe Matters from KD Shives
  54. Microbiology Bytes from AJ Cann
  55. Microblogology from Lorraine Cramer
  56. Microbiology Stories
  57. Mike the Mad Biologist
  58. Miss Parasitos  AND
  59. Monotreme’s Blog *
  60. MyChrobial Romance from David Baltrus
  61. Mycorant
  62. MycorWeb Fungal Genomics
  63. Mystery Rays from Outer Space
  64. Not Exactly Rocket Science from Ed Yong
  65. Of Bacteria and Men from Robin Tecon
  66. One in Seven People
  67. Outbreak News
  68. Parasite of the Day
  69. Parasites
  70. Pathogens, Genes and Genomes
  71. Pharmaceutical Microbiology by Tim Sandle
  72. Public Health Matters from the CDC
  73. Rapid Microbiology Methods 
  74. RRResearch from Rosie Redfield
  75. Rule of 6ix from Connor Bamford
  76. Russell’s Blog from Russell Neches
  77. Safe Food from John Brooks
  78. Skeptic Wonder
  79. Skewed Distribution
  80. Small Things Considered
  81. Smaller Questions
  82. Sociobiology
  83. Spirochetes Unwound
  84. Superbug
  85. Superbugs and Drugs
  86. Stringent Response
  87. Symbionticism from Seth Bordenstein
  88. The Artful Amoeba…
  89. The Febrile Muse
  90. The Genome Factory
  91. The “Germ Guy” Blog:
  92. The Hyphal Tip by Jason Stajich
  93. The Intestinal Gardner
  94. The Loom from Carl Zimmer
  95. The Oceloid from PSI Wavefunction
  96. The Parasite Diary
  97. The Tree of Life from Jonathan Eisen
  98. Ultraphyte from Joan Slonczewski
  99. We Beasties from Kevin Bonham
  100. The View from a Microbiologist from Samantha Price
  101. Viroblogy from Ed Rybicki
  102. Virology Blog from Vincent Racaniello
  103. Viral Bioinformatics from Chris Upton
  104. Worms and Germs
  105. Zoonotica
Podcasts and Videocasts

Not screened yet but considering adding to the above list

To add to list

Other stuff about microbes but not quite bloggy enough for my list above

Microbiology related blogs that are appear to be no longer active or very rarely active

Twitter lists
Science Blogs Networks that might have some microbial content not listed above

Coming up at the #ASM2012 mtg. "The Great Indoors: Recent Advances in the Ecology of Built Environments"

The American Society for Microbiology meeting is starting tomorrow and there are multiple things related to microbiology of the built environment there.  These include a session that was organized by Brendan Bohannan which I am chairing.

The details of the session are below:

Session Title: The Great Indoors: Recent Advances in the Ecology of Built Environments

Session Date/Time: Sunday Jun 17, 2012 3:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Session Room: Esplanade Ballroom 300

Description: Although humans in industrialized countries spend nearly 90% of their time in enclosed buildings, we know very little about the biology of the indoor environment. However, this is starting to change. Over the past few years, the field of indoor ecology has grown dramatically. Ecologists are beginning to apply ecological theory and concepts to understanding buildings as ecosystems. A new understanding of the biodiversity of built environments is emerging, as well as a new appreciation of the importance of interactions between humans and non-human life indoors. The proposed symposium will showcase this emerging understanding. We will feature presentations that demonstrate the utility of ecological theory for understanding built environments, that describe the dynamics of biodiversity indoors and that illustrate the interactions of humans with indoor ecology. Our focus will be on the ecology of the dominant forms of non-human life indoors – microorganisms – and their interactions with humans.


  • Jonathan Eisen microBEnet: the microbiology of the built environment network
  • Nicholas Be: Examination of the environmental air microbiome using deep sequencing
  • Katie Kirsch: A microbial analysis of environmental surfaces in hotel rooms
  • Mark Hernandez: Stability of airborne microbes to master environmental variables
  • John Senko: Microbial communities associated with flue gas desulfurization systems
  • Kimberly Ross: Drinking water delivery networks as microbial ecosystems
  • Jordan Peccia: The effect of environmental conditions on the allergenic potency of Aspergillus fumigatus spores