Project: ISS Microbiome collaboration with Science Cheerleaders

We are starting a collaboration with the Science Cheerleaders group to do a microbiology project on the International Space Station.  This project has two parts: sampling microbes on the space station using DNA based methods and culturing microbes from select locations on Earth and sending them to the space station for a few tests.  I will be posting some notes on the project here.


  • Contacted by Darlene Cavalier to ask if we might be interested in collaborating
  • Said yes and had multiple conference calls with Darlene, Mark Severance, Wendy Brown, Russell Neches, Summer Williams and others.
  • Put in proposal to Space Florida on the project
  • Proposal approved

Notes on sampling ISS and sporting events

  • Most likely will collect samples on ISS with swabs send back to Earth frozen
  • Would be great to do sequencing on ISS if such methods are available
  • Recruited Jack Gilbert to help with sequencing and sample kits
  • Need to determine what to sample at sporting events
    • Avoiding people due to informed consent/IRB issues
    • Balls?
    • Entryways
    • Keyboards around stadium
    • Dusty spots (e.g., above backboard)
    • Want to be able to compare to other building sampling

Darlene working on SciStarter site set up

Some blog/news coverage

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