Story Behind the Paper: Radiation Resistant Bacillus spores from Spacecraft Assembly Facilities

(This is a guest blog post, written by Madhan Tirumalai and George Fox, authors of the publication)   Comparative genomics help identify novel genes of radiation resistant spore producing Bacillus sp. from Spacecraft assembly facilities   Madhan R Tirumalai and George E. Fox Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Houston, Houston, USA.   The …

When your space craft cleaning reagents become food for microbes 

This is really fascinating: Source: Team discover how microbes survive clean rooms and contaminate spacecraft Hat tip to Elisabeth Bik for posting about this on Twitter So cool: microbes actually feed on the cleaning products. Also cool: undergraduates as authors. Team discover how microbes survive clean rooms and contaminate spacecraft https://t.co/ox4kMawHko — Elisabeth Bik (@MicrobiomDigest) June …

Paper of possible interest: KatharoSeq Enables High-Throughput Microbiome Analysis from Low-Biomass Samples

This may be of interest to people out there.  Source: KatharoSeq Enables High-Throughput Microbiome Analysis from Low-Biomass Samples | mSystems Abstract: Microbiome analyses of low-biomass samples are challenging because of contamination and inefficiencies, leading many investigators to employ low-throughput methods with minimal controls. We developed a new automated protocol, KatharoSeq (from the Greek katharos [clean]), …

Our #ISS Microbiome Paper in PeerJ

So a number of years ago our lab embarked on Project MERCCURI (let’s not talk about the tortured acronym).  This complex and citizen science-based collaboration (website here) has been a fascinating journey.  It’s ranged from getting to watch a rocket launch in Florida, to discovering/describing a new bacterial species, to our most recent publication… the …

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 …