Report on 2020 Spacecraft-Associated Genome Analysis (SAGAn) workshop at NASA JPL

So this last week, we ran a workshop on bacterial genomics at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).  Who is “we”?  An amazing collaboration across several institutions.  The whole thing was initiated by Dr. Parag Vaishampayan (NASA-JPL), who contacted myself (UC Davis), Dr. Elinne Becket (Cal State San Marcos), and Dr. Kenisha Johnson (Alabama A&M) about …

Job posting: Metagenomics analysis of spacecraft at JPL (Postdoctoral Fellow)

I’m a sucker for space microbiome research, I admit.   Here’s a great sounding postdoc opportunity with our collaborator Parag Vaishampayan at JPL. Job Details Job ID: 11208 We ask the biggest questions, then search the universe for answers—literally. And, with great opportunities come great responsibilities! In the Biotechnology and Planetary Protection group at JPL, we …

Water, microbes and space 

Some cool new projects funded by NASA including one on microbes in water in space being run by Jiseon Yang at ASU. NASA has awarded 15 grants for new space biology research designed to help the agency achieve its goals under the Artemis lunar exploration program. Teams of investigators will use state-of-the-art Source: NASA Artemis …

Space Station conditions are selective but do not alter microbial characteristics relevant to human health

Human space exploration beyond Earth and Moon is a declared goal of NASA, ESA, Roscosmos and other space-faring agencies, with human Mars mission envisioned in the near future. One of the major challenges of the mission is protecting the human crew from illness and infection caused by harmful biological contaminants. To evaluate these challenges in …

Microbial and Human Health Monitoring for Space Flight Meeting

This is a meeting report from the 2019 “3rd COSPAR Meeting to Address Planetary Protection Knowledge Gaps for Human Missions and Working Meeting on Microbial and Human Health Monitoring”.  As much as NASA loves acronyms, I can see why no one liked the idea of the “COSPAR-MAPPKGHMWMMHHM 2019” name. Speaking of acronyms… COSPAR stand for …

Great paper on Space Station Microbes and how they are not all waiting to kill you …

Just posting some Tweets here … I really recommend people check out this paper. There is a new paper from @rblauste @ericamhartmann et al. that is a must read on microbes on the space station – see PR here https://t.co/Wi2vIUVTT5 from @NorthwesternU and paper here from @mSystemsJ https://t.co/cpD926urKD 1/n — Jonathan Eisen (@phylogenomics) January 9, …

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 …

Correction: A microbial survey of the International Space Station (ISS)

Sometimes when a paper has many authors and drags on for years the resulting manuscript end up with a bit of a stitched together feel.  And in this world of post-peer-review-by-socia-media it’s easy to hear about the flaws after the fact.   Our recently published “A microbial survey of the International Space Station (ISS)” had some …