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 …

This should be awesome. NeLLi 2017: From New Lineages of Life To New Functions #NeLLi17

This meeting should be awesome (no bias here – just one of the external coorganizers). April 5-6, 2017 – Marriott Hotel, Walnut Creek, CA The workshop aims to foster discussions centered on how to capture, define, quantify, and functionally characterize microbial and viral diversity. It focuses on experimental innovations, computational advances, and other technological developments that will enable researchers to …

These are actual living microbiologists #actuallivingscientist #microbiology #microbes

I have been tracking #actuallivingscientist postings on Twitter compiled those by people doing microbiology. Actual living microbiologists. [View the story “These are actual living microbiologists #actuallivingscientist #microbiology #microbes #microBEnet” on Storify]

GSC19 (Brisbane, Australia) Registration is Open !!

We are happy to announce that registration for GSC19 is now open !! Theme:  Extending Standards to Viruses and Microbial Eukaryotes Date: May 15th-17th, 2017 Location: Stamford Plaza, Brisbane, Australia Host: Philip Hugenholtz           Australian Centre for Ecogenomics, University of Queensland The agenda is packed with exciting sessions and topics: Viral classification and …

Wanted – recommended service providers for microbial sequencing (genomes, rRNA, metagenomes, etc)

In January 2014 I wrote this post about “microbiome” sequencing services. I have gotten many outside requests for the following information — what places (companies, Universities, government agencies, etc) provide contract services for rRNA PCR and sequencing? Source: Request — Information on Places that do rRNA sequencing as a service — microBEnet: the microbiology of the …

STAMPS course at MBL

A few weeks ago I attended a course entitled “Strategies and Techniques for Analyzing Microbial Population Structure” at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, along with a number of other students, postdocs and faculty engaged in the study of the microbiology of the built environment (as well as the oceans, humans, animals, plants). This excellent …

The Secret World Inside You at the AMNH runs through August 14

In the past, we have lamented the poor representation of microbes in natural history museums. And so I must mention that there’s a wonderful microbiome exhibit currently on exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The Secret World Inside You, is a microbe related exhibit co-curated by Susan Perkins and Rob DeSalle, curators at the AMNH. The exhibition …

International Metagenomics Project Representative? I Volunteer As Tribute!

One afternoon while making my way through another DNA extraction, I was eavesdropping over the lab benches, per usual, trying to keep my mind occupied.  I overheard my project manager and another undergraduate discussing an unusual project.  “Do you want to contact the Sacramento authorities to get clearance to swab the light rail, because talking …