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 …

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 …

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 …

Airborne Pathogens inside Automobiles for Domestic Use: Assessing In-Car Air Decontamination Devices Using Staphylococcus aureus as the Challenge Bacterium

Just testing a new feature here where we are trying to have posts for papers on key topics. Sattar SA, Zargar B, Wright KE, Rubino JR, Ijaz MK. 2017. Airborne pathogens inside automobiles for domestic use: assessing in-car air decontamination devices using Staphylococcus aureus as the challenge bacterium. Appl Environ Microbiol 83:e00258-17. https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.00258-17. ABSTRACT Family …

Workshop on Planetary Protection Knowledge Gaps for Human Extraterrestrial Missions (Reverse Contamination)

This is the third of three posts about the planetary protection workshop I attended at NASA Ames from March 24-26, 2015. The first is here. I mentioned, in my last post on forward contamination, that reverse contamination is the primary concern for Planetary Protection (PP). In this context, reverse contamination refers to the transport of Martian …

Planetary Protection Workshop (Forward Contamination)

This is the second of three posts about the planetary protection workshop I attended at NASA Ames from March 24-26, 2015. The first is here (and here.) Forward contamination, in the context of planetary protection, refers to the transport of microbes from Earth to Mars. The title of the workshop, and many talk titles refer to “human …

Antimicrobial coating on a commercial polymer…IN SPACE

This study by C. Balagna et al from 2012 looks at the application of their product on spacecraft. They covered a commercial polymer generally used in aerospace with an antimicrobial made of silver and silica using radio frequencies. This was done in an attempt to mitigate the amount of contamination of spacecraft surfaces. When in space, …

Don’t forget – keep your space robots clean, very clean

Just found a very interesting, very detailed article about keeping space robots / vehicles clean in terms of microbes: RYOT News » Scientists building robots focused on not contaminating Mars. The article reports: The decontamination of spacecraft, an obscure arm of space science, has grown in importance as NASA turned its attention to places such as …

One last call for help with Sloan-funded MoBE paper collection

Back in September we posted a call for help with our “comprehensive” database of publications resulting from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation program in the Microbiology of the Built Environment.   We’ve tried database scanning, begging people for help, public posting, manually digging through Google Scholar, grant reports, etc.  Our hope is to use this collection …