Job posting (postdoc): Metagenomics of spacecraft-associated microbes at JPL

Really exciting sounding postdoc opportunity with Parag Vaishampayan at JPL, “Metagenomics approach for genetic inventory of microbes to identify, document, and archive broadest spectrum of potential terrestrial contaminants during the spacecraft assembly process“. Plus I have to say that is the coolest looking recruitment banner that I’ve ever seen in my life. Job posting here.  …

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 …

NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) opportunity at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)

Metagenomics approach for genetic inventory of microbes to identify, quantify, document, and archive broadest spectrum of potential terrestrial contaminants during the spacecraft assembly process. The NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) provides early-career and more senior scientists the opportunity to share in NASA’s mission, to reach for new heights and reveal the unknown so that what we …

NASA report of interest (from 2012): Genetic inventory (of spacecraft) task final report

Just discovered this report: BEACON eSpace at Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Genetic inventory task final report.  It is a summary of genetic studies of microbes found on various spacecraft and associated facilities. Abstract: Contaminant terrestrial microbiota could profoundly impact the scientific integrity of extraterrestrial life-detection experiments. It is therefore important to know what organisms persist on spacecraft …

Fungi, Bacteria, and ArcheaArchaea on “clean” hardware destined for Mars

Here’s a case where just the title of an article is awesome: “Pyrosequencing-Derived Bacterial, Archaeal, and Fungal Diversity of Spacecraft Hardware Destined for Mars”.  Sadly it’s not open access but the abstract is worth a read at a minimum. The authors conducted environmental surveys in cleanrooms and of equipment destined for Mars.  Basically they found that …