New papers on Microbiology of the Built Environment, December 24, 2016

Microbes and buildings Bacterial Hygromorphs: Experiments into the integration of soft technologies into building skins – ACADIA 2016: Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture – Carolina Ramirez-Figueroa – Newcastle University (OA) The last few years has seen an increase in the interest to bring living systems into the process of design. Work with living systems, nonetheless, presents …

Mars Dome – a cool closed system

According to a recent BBC news article, NASA is doing a Mars simulation project to see if six live human beings can survive being isolated in a dome together. From a MoBE perspective, it would be cool to study this system. It’s completely closed to outside microbes – the people living in this dome have to …

Nice series of papers on microbial ecology and space travel

Well, here is another benefit of automated Google Scholar searches. I think it is unlikely I would have found these new papers without such searches but these are fascinating and directly relevant to many aspects of work we are doing on Project MERCCURI.  A series of papers on microbial ecolog and space travel in the …

The 11.4 million mile swab kit

I’m proud to announce that the sample collection for the building science component of Project MERCCURI is complete! In early May, Koichi Wakata from JAXA (Japan’s space exploration agency) collected swabs swabs of surfaces aboard the International Space Station. Back in June last year, Jenna, Wendy and I went to the Johnson Space Center in …

Interesting though very incomplete story in Nature on Curiosity Rover (before launch)

Just pointed to this story: Microbial stowaways to Mars identified : Nature News & Comment by Darlene Cavalier, our collaborator on the “Space Microbes” Project MERCCURI.  The article reports on a presentation by Stephanie Smith at the ASM 2014 meeting going on in Boston.  Smith presented results from characterizing (via culturing) the microbes present on various parts …

AAAS Microbiomes of the Built Environment Symposium videos available on-line

Registrants for the March AAAS Symposium are recipients today of the following message from Anette Olsen at AAAS. “I’d like to let you know that the videos of each panel is now online, but they currently remain unedited. We anticipate another two weeks before the edited versions are placed online. In the meantime, here is …

Microbiome of the classroom: Teaching? Not really. Learning? Yes, definitely.

On March 7, 2014, Ben Johnson wrote an all-encompassing blog post about the microbiome of the classroom’s built environment. (Dr. Jonathan Eisen also mentions Johnson’s article in a blog post a day afterwards.) In his blog post, not only does Johnson describe the different types of microbes living on the walls, desks, and chairs in the classroom, but …

Not-So-Clean Rooms

In researching previous studies conducted on microbes in space for Project MERCURRI, I ran across an interesting microbiology diversity study done on European Spacecraft-Associated (ESA) clean rooms in the Herschel Space Observatory. Historically, clean rooms are supposedly “sterile” environments that are used for the building and maintenance of spacecrafts, as directed by the UN’s Outer Space planetary …