​This Week In Biofilms And Microbiomes: Monday November 2, 2015

A round-up of what we read last week in the media's coverage of biofilms and microbiomes research.

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“Hey Obama, Can We Have a Unified Microbiome Initiative?” asked The Atlantic this week in a feature on the US’s Unified Microbiome Initiative (UMI). The piece seeks scientists’ views on the tools required to progress microbiome research and how greater coordination between researchers can be achieved. And in Nature this week, researchers go a step further and call for an International Microbiome Initiative (IMI), in addition to the UMI. “This would ensure the sharing of standards across borders and disciplines, and bring cohesion to the multitude of microbiome initiatives that exist.”

Science2.0 was one of a number of outlets to highlight research into the microbiome of the International Space Station published in Microbiome this week. The research by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory used “the latest DNA sequencing technologies to rapidly and precisely identify the microorganisms present on the ISS, filling in the gaps left by traditional methods, and highlighting pathogens that may pose a threat to astronauts”.

A paper published in Applied Materials & Interfaces on a dressing that glows when wounds are infected was covered by IFLScience this week. IFLScience spoke to author Dr Toby Jenkins of the University of Bath, UK, who explained: “the dressing detects changes in wound bacterial activity. All wounds have some bacteria in [them] whilst they are kept in check by immune clearance this is not a problem, but when bacteria start to form biofilms and critically colonise the wound, pathogenic changes can result. Our dressing will measure this critical colonisation point.”

We’d love to hear what you’ve been reading this week. Please comment below.

Jen Thoroughgood

Former Head of Communities, Springer Nature

I'm no longer with Springer Nature so please send your community-related queries to communities@nature.com. Thanks!