home microBEnet Research, Microbes in Space Announcing Project MERCCURI (a.k.a Microbes in Spaaaaace!)

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 patchCheerleaders, 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 (via 16S sequencing)

2) Collecting swab samples around the country at sporting and other public events from cell phones, shoes, and various surfaces (e.g. keyboards, screens, railings etc.) These will be used for comparison to the ISS samples and for a look a microbial biogeography across a national scale. In collaboration with Jack Gilbert at the Earth Microbiome Project.

3) A microbial growth competition on the ISS. A subset of samples collected at public events will be cultured at UC Davis and the “best” microbe from each environment will be sent to the ISS for a “microbial playoffs” competition. A duplicate of this experiment will be conducted on earth and the results compared.

Project website here

Some blog/news coverage

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David Coil

David Coil is a Project Scientist in the lab of Jonathan Eisen at UC Davis. David works at the intersection between research, education, and outreach in the areas of the microbiology of the built environment, microbial ecology, and bacterial genomics. Twitter

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