The Astronaut Microbiome

The human microbiome and microbes in space are two of the sexiest topics in microbiology today. Together they have attracted the attention of the J. Craig Venter Institute. Hernan Lorenzi is leading a team to study how the composition of the human microbiome changes during long term space exploration. They will be analyzing the microbiome of …

Altered gene expression by Candida albicans in space

Sometimes blogging on microBEnet feels a bit like a MadLib.   There are certain recurring themes that fit the model well. For example: __________ (microbe) was recently found to do _______________ (cool thing)… IN SPAAAAACE!  This has implications for future manned spaceflight missions. So here we go for today: The fungal pathogen Candida albicans was recently …

Antibiotic Effectiveness in Space Project

It’s becoming increasingly well-established that microbes behave differently in microgravity than on Earth… that’s one of the justifications for our own Project MERCCURI.   Some previous work has focused on the ability of microbes to survive higher-than-normal levels of antibiotics when grown in space, though the mechanism for this is not at all understood. This article …

Announcing Project MERCCURI (a.k.a Microbes in Spaaaaace!)

(cross-posted from our static page on the project which will be updated as we move forward) Project MERCCURI is a collaboration of microBEnet with the Science Cheerleaders, Nanoracks, NASA, and SciStarter.com. There are three components to the project: 1) Collecting microbial swab samples from the International Space Station (ISS) and examining the microbial communities therein …