Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Foldscope mold evaluation after repeated roof leaks

Suspected mold growth on sheetrock after repeated water events - N. Carlson
A rental property had sustained repeated water damage from a roof leak.  Suspected mold growth was noted behind the vinyl baseboard.  Tease tapes were taken from the surface and clear nail polish was used as a mounting fluid for clear transparent tape on a microscope slide.  Click on any photo to enlarge.

Foldscope image of Chaetomium spp. spores  from Samsung S-5 camera -click to enlarge - N. Carlson
Cropped photo of Chaetomium spp. spores with Adobe Photoshop elements - N. Carlson
Foldscope photo of Chaetomium spp. perithecia - N. Carlson
Cropped photo of Chaetomium spp. perithecia with Adobe Photoshop Elements - N. Carlson
Suspected mold growth in the adjacent room behind the vinyl baseboard - N. Carlson
Foldscope image of Stachybotrys spp. using Samsung S-5 camera - N. Carlson
Cropped photo of Stachybotrys spp. using Adobe Photoshop Elements - N. Carlson
These samples were taken after a weekend water event.  These particular organisms typically growth on paper products receiving repeated water damage.  The growth observed is unlikely to be as a result of a single water event.

The Foldscope images were clear enough to allow me to identify the organism to the genus level.  After taking the picture, I used the zoom feature of the camera to make the field identification.  I used an overhead fluorescent light bulb to back light the microscope slides.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Paleolithic sleep patterns are similar to modern sleep patterns

Health Effects of Sleep Deprivation - Science Kids - click to enlarge

Research on sleep patters from our paleolithic ancestors found that an 8 hour sleep pattern was not the norm.  This according to CNN - Sleep like your ancestors. 

According to the Washington Post, three of the existing hunter gatherer tribes slept an average of 6.5 hours per night.  This is very similar to the average measured hours of sleep for the UK.  The British sleep times average 6 hours and 39 minutes per night according to the Great British Bedtime Report - 2013.

From the Washington Post, the paleolithic ancestors were much healthier on measures of chronic disease indices of BMI, and blood pressure.   The authors speculate that the we are unhealthy because we are unhealthy and it may not be due to lack of sleep.


Cut yourself a bit of slack if you aren't sleeping 8 hours.  It is important to sleep as fatigued individuals have more accidents, it allows people to reduce toxins in the brain and  allows the brain to work on diffuse learning wiring connections while you sleep.  It is a myth that our ancestors slept more.

Memory and Sleep - Penny Lewis - 7 minutes

AIHA - Mold Resource Center

Mold growth - N. Carlson
The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) has an AIHA online mold resource center.  The page provides links and general facts about mold and includes past references to articles in the Synergist for AIHA members.  The articles about proper health and safety precautions after the cleanup after Hurricane Sandy are useful.  The site provides good information useful for first responders and safety professionals after a water related natural disaster. . 

Mold in homes - 5min.

The discussion in the video mentions keeping the relative humidity (%RH) between 40% and 60% in the home.  This is acceptable for summer time but indoor humidity levels above 20 to 30% in winter climates can cause problems with moisture condensation on cold surfaces.