Altered gene expression by Candida albicans in space

Sometimes blogging on microBEnet feels a bit like a MadLib.   There are certain recurring themes that fit the model well. For example: __________ (microbe) was recently found to do _______________ (cool thing)… IN SPAAAAACE!  This has implications for future manned spaceflight missions. So here we go for today: The fungal pathogen Candida albicans was recently …

Antibiotic Effectiveness in Space Project

It’s becoming increasingly well-established that microbes behave differently in microgravity than on Earth… that’s one of the justifications for our own Project MERCCURI.   Some previous work has focused on the ability of microbes to survive higher-than-normal levels of antibiotics when grown in space, though the mechanism for this is not at all understood. This article …

Methinks the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could use a microbial ecologist on staph staff

ESPN reports that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers management has arranged to have one of their facilities “treated” due to presence of MRSA: Tampa Bay Buccaneers treat facility to prevent MRSA outbreak – ESPN.  Seems like this would be a good case study for a team of microbial ecologists with experience in sporting facilities.  Calling Project MERCCURI. …

Space Gets Slimed: New Satellite Will Monitor Mold Growth in Space | Space.com

Here’s a story that combines two of my favorite topics these days, microbes and space.  In this case students from Japan are building a special satellite to house and photograph slime mold growth (Dictyostelium discoideum).  I’m not sure exactly what they’ll learn from this, but it sounds cool!  Pictures and data will be publicly available …

SpaceMicrobes & ProjectMERCCURI get a little press

Quick post here (crossposted from my Tree of Life blog). Our Project MERCCURI got some press coverage relating to an event July 20th with the Arizona Cardinals: Gilbert, Tempe participate in national microbe-swabbing project – East Valley Tribune: Gilbert. From the article: “The event – held at the Arizona Cardinals’ training facility on July 20 – …

Spaceflight Promotes Biofilm Formation by Pseudomonas aeruginosa – PLOS ONE

Had to post about this recent paper that came out in PLOS ONE, “Spaceflight Promotes Biofilm Formation by Pseudomonas aeruginosa“.  Obviously we’re thinking a lot about bacterial activity in space, apropos of our Project MERCCURI work. Really the title says it all here.  Biofilms are awesome.  Space is awesome.  Turns out that biofilms in space …

First Sampling for Project MERCCURI

Last week Jenna Lang, Russell Neches, and myself headed over to the Sacramento King’s basketball arena to collect samples before the game as part of project MERCCURI (a.k.a Microbes in Spaaaaace!). Our goals were: 1)To get culture samples, of which one representative will fly to the International Space Station (ISS) for the “microbial playoffs”. 2)To …