A2: Microbes in the News Assignment

Article: NASA Astronaut Kate Rubins Talks About Microbes

Date:  August 3, 2016

Author:  Kate Rubins, NASA.gov Video (youtube channle)

Link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r33F8OLtGDw

Summary:  NASA Astronaut Kate Rubins talks about upcomming experiments on the Internatinal Space Station. These include understanding the microbiome of the human body and the microbiome of the spacestation itself. The astronauts can do this via protible DNA sequencers among other exciting new mirobial research equipment.

Connections:  This vidio got me excited about the experiments being conducted on bord the ISS. They will be studying things related to subjects we’ve learned in class such as; microbial gene expression in microgravity, human immune system, bone and muscle system changes due to microgravity, understanding the human and spacestations microbiomes. They can do this with protable DNA and RNA sequencers. This is to connect the effects of spaceflight (microgravity, increased radiation, recycled atmosphere among others) back to the microbiome on Earth and other planets.

Critical analysis:  I really enjoyed this vidio and it got me excited for the upcoming experiments the astronauts on the ISS will be conducting.  I learned that DNA sequencing can be done with a device “as big as a cellphone”, which is very exciting for the future of microbiology. I also really enjoy NASAs vidios and articles, as I feel they do a great job expressing science so everyone can understand it.

Question:  Would you want to go to the ISS knowing you’ll be potentially shairing microbiomes with your colleagues more rapidly then normal? This would be due to the tight quarters plus the recycled atmosphere and water systems.