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 …

Dual postdoctoral fellowship opportunity to study the microbiology of the #ISS

This is so awesome. The Sloan Program in Microbiology of the Built Environment is offering a pair of postdoc fellowships to work on the microbiology of the International Space Station. Summary of the call is below, the compete information packet can be downloaded here.  And if that’s not cool enough, the next blog post is …

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 …

A Portrait of a Building and its External Inhabitants

Imagine a city skyline — what do you see?  Skyscraper peaks, metallic sheens, sand-colored stones, rusty brickreds, dirty white plaster, glinting windows?  That is a lot of surface area!  I am curious about what can be eking out a living on all of these different surfaces, and how it might be contributing to urban ecosystems. In …

Everything you wanted to know about space poop

Let’s face it, when microbiologists get together over beers 9/10 times the conversation ends up about poop.   Or maybe that’s just among the ones I know?  Feces provides the critical window into the important world of the gut microbiome,  a large percentage of the biomass in feces is microbial and who doesn’t love fecal transplants? …

Extremophily on solar panels

Adding to the list of common surfaces in the built environment that are harboring unique microbial communities — solar panels!  If you build a smooth surface exposed to the sun, will they come, like poolside sunbathers vying for the best lounge chairs?  A study by Pedro Dorado-Morales and crew came at this question from multiple sides: they …

Interesting possible model for microbiomes and space travel: bees

Just got done looking at this paper which I found by searching Google Scholar for “indoor bacteria”.  PLOS ONE: 16S rRNA Amplicon Sequencing Demonstrates that Indoor-Reared Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) Harbor a Core Subset of Bacteria Normally Associated with the Wild Host A MiSeq multiplexed 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing of the gut microbiota of wild and indoor-reared …