A recent expedition to the moon’s surface by Apollo 18 was conducted by the USA. Moon rocks were obtained (in triplicate of course) from several different lunar mares across the moon’s surface by the unmanned rover, Red. Some questions remain about the Red rover’s sterility, early reports indicating that it has sterile technique comparable to that of a graduate student.
What has scientists really scratching their heads though is the results of a 16S rRNA survey performed on the lunar rocks. Scientists expected lunar 16S sequences to cluster with samples from Earth’s cold deserts. Instead the lunar 16S sequences appear to cluster with those of natural rind cheeses.
We asked researcher, Dr. Rusti Button, to comment on this inexplicable finding.
“I’m not all that surprised. I mean, people have been saying that the moon is made out of cheese for years, right? Additionally, natural rind cheeses are left undisturbed during the aging process, just like the surface of the moon has been left largely undisturbed. I’d even hypothesize that after increased lunar landings, we might see the moon microbiome begin to cluster with bloomy rinds [which are usually inoculated with fungi] due to human contaminants.”
Do these early lunar microbiome results lend weight to growing evidence that the moon really is made of cheese? If the moon is made of cheese, then where did the milk come from? How will future lunar missions and possible human colonization change the lunar microbiome? Researchers are currently working to find answers to these and other cheesy questions.
Scientists have just uncovered another layer of mystery about hipsters. Hipsters are a family in which all-inclusive species can be identified by several phenotypic traits such as black-rimmed glasses with no frames, tight pants, messenger bags, pomaded hair, and vintage shoes. The hipster population is an essential part to the ecosystem, so researchers are pressured to figure out why it is on such a rapid decline. One current theory suggests the population decline could be due to the hipster lifestyle choices becoming ironically mainstream; another theory suggests tight pants can cause infertility by means of unwanted “hipsterectomies”. Hipsters are crucial to the survival of independent coffee shops, record stores, feminist bookstores, and Apple. One hypothesis about the rapid decline in the hipster population is that there is a disruption to their microbiome. Therefore, researchers have taken creative approaches to further the understanding of hipsters by use of next generation sequencing techniques.
The results of the study are astounding. Hipsters were found to possess significantly higher abundances of microbes that were discovered before they were cool compared to the microbes found on control subjects. Ironically, these microbes were also found on the surfaces in microbreweries, fixed gear bicycle shops, and on packs of American Spirit cigarettes. While it is inconclusive if these correlations are related to the rapidly declining hipster population, scientists believe they have made a breakthrough into saving the hipster population. It was previously thought that the microbes found on hipsters were unculturable until students in Dr. Allman’s research laboratory at Dartmouth College disproved this theory. Hipster microbes can in fact be cultured if new, but vintage looking equipment is used. Obviously this is a very expensive technique, so scientists are now pouring resources into potential cures of hipsterectomies. In fact, researchers have high hopes for a mainstream, dubstep-resistant inoculant for mustache wax that entered clinical trials last month.