NASA postdoctoral fellowship solicitation to study the microbiology of the #ISS

In parallel to the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation offer of two postdoctoral fellowships to study the microbiology of the ISS, NASA is also issuing a pair of postdoc fellowships on their end.  The collaboration between Sloan and NASA is great to see, since there is significant overlap between their interests in this field.  I’m really …

Chernobyl Fungi in Space

Just a quick post about the fact that researchers from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) are sending radiation resistant (even radiation-loving) fungi for some experiments on the International Space Station (ISS).  They are looking for changes that occur in microgravity after growth for 14 days on the ISS with respect to ground control strains.  Very …

Videos of talks from “Microbiomes of the Built Environment: From Research to Application”

On April 11 there was a meeting in Washington DC that was part of an effort from a new study being conducted by the National Academies of Science, Medicine, and Engineering on “Microbiomes of the Built Environment”.  Videos and slides from the meeting have now been posted.  I have compiled them below. In addition, I …

Story behind the paper: Porphyrobacter mercurialis, a new species found by #citizenscience and then sent to the #iss

So our first attempt at entering the world of bacterial taxonomy and the description of a new species came out today with the thrilling title of “Porphyrobacter mercurialis sp. nov., isolated from a stadium seat and emended description of the genus Porphyrobacter“. The story leading to this paper took us into  a lot of new …

Project MERCCURI (#spacemicrobes) results… comparing earth to space

We’ve posted previously about the results of the microbial playoffs in space (microbenet post here, and project website here).  And while it’s fun to compare the growth of a microbe representing the Raiders to one representing the 49ers (Raiders won that one)… there’s a more serious question being asked here. We wanted to know what …

Workshop on Planetary Protection Knowledge Gaps for Human Extraterrestrial Missions (Reverse Contamination)

This is the third of three posts about the planetary protection workshop I attended at NASA Ames from March 24-26, 2015. The first is here. I mentioned, in my last post on forward contamination, that reverse contamination is the primary concern for Planetary Protection (PP). In this context, reverse contamination refers to the transport of Martian …