Microbial biodiversity assessment of the European Space Agency’s ExoMars 2016 mission

Determining if life exists or ever existed beyond Earth is one of the most interesting scientific questions. Reports on numerous habitable planets have increased the speculations about potential extra-terrestrial life. However, these theoretically life-supporting planets are far beyond human’s reach – except Mars. In order to explore if there ever was life on Mars, the …

Preparing for the crewed Mars journey: Microbiota dynamics in the confined Mars500 habitat during simulated Mars flight and landing

Human exploration of planet Mars has a long history with number of robotic missions surveying the Martian surface and environment, including  the Viking program (1975), the Mars Exploration Rover Mission (2003), the Phoenix lander (2008), and the Mars Science Laboratory (2012). For the future human space exploration, crewed Mars mission is considered as one of …

Today in possibly interesting science but needless fear mongering ..

So this sounds like there may be some interesting science going on here: Zero gravity had unexpected effects on E. coli samples, causing them to behave differently. That could present problems trying to treat them. Source: Space-Grown Bacteria Could Pose Major Problems for Astronauts But the article includes a bunch of needless fear mongering. What …

Eclipse brings out a cool citizen microbiology project

When I first saw the headline on this I groaned a little, thinking this was some completely bogus type of project.  But actually, upon reading about it in more detail it sounds like a really good public engagement project involving the eclipse, students, space, and microbes. The article: Most-watched eclipse in history could answer the …

New papers on Microbiology of the Built Environment, June 3, 2017

Microbes indoors DNA metabarcoding to assess indoor fungal communities: Electrostatic dust collectors and Illumina sequencing – Steffi Rocchi – Journal of Microbiological Methods ($39.95) Our study aimed to evaluate metabarcoding and bioinformatic analysis resulting from calibrated samples and samples collected by an electrostatic dust collector (EDC) in dwellings with no moisture problems. Thus, the fungal communities of …

NASA MoBE Postdoctoral Fellowship: Virulence and Drug Resistance of Burkholderia and Ralstonia species isolated from the ISS potable water systems

The disease-causing organisms Burkholderia multivorans, B. cepacia, genomovars of the B. cepacia complex (BCC), as well as an unclassified species of Burkholderia, and its relatives Ralstonia pickettii and R. insidiosa account for 60% of the bacterial isolates obtained from the filtrated water system on board the International Space Station (ISS). Members of these genera can …

Recruiting editors : Citizen Science in Microbiology!

Federico Lauro, Chris Mason and I (and a few others by now) are looking for editors for a Frontiers Special Topic on Citizen Science in Microbiology. It is important to us that we assemble a diverse panel of editors before we start inviting submissions! We are especially interested in making sure that women and people …

Kristen DeAngelis slides for “Microbial Diversity” Course

My course slides are updated for 2017 with a new lecture on acellular life. Lecture 01 (3-21-2017) slides from Kristen DeAngelis Lec02 phylogeny (3-23-2017) from Kristen DeAngelis Lecture 03 (3-28-2017) slides from Kristen DeAngelis Lecture 20 (4-20-2017) slides from Kristen DeAngelis Lecture 22 (4-27-2017) slides from Kristen DeAngelis   Lecture 23 (5-2-2017) acellular life slides …

NASA. Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Award Fellowships to Study ISS Microbes 

Of interest: Source: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Award Fellowships to Study ISS Microbes | NASA Fellow: Melissa Dsouza, University of Auckland, New Zealand PI-Advisor: Kasthuri Venkateswaran, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Investigating mechanisms for the acquisition and prevalence of antibiotic resistance genes in the ISS cultivable microbiome. Awarded by the NASA Space Biology Program. Fellow: Michael Lee, University of …