Starting your research from scratch – the story of two Fungi #spacemicrobes

Doing a PhD is, by definition, doing something new, and turns out I´m no different. In my thesis I will be working with two Fungi aka mould (yeah, the kind of mould you have on your bread or your walls) and these are called Penicillium and Aspergillus. My plan is to discover how they cope with space conditions: UV Radiation, microgravity, desiccation, etc. Although the laboratory work is almost the same for fungi as it is for bacteria, there is still one problem –> I have never actually worked with fungi. So all the details of their life cycle, their structure, how do their cells look like, what is their metabolism and so on, are kind of a mistery to me.

Worry not – Google will help you. So, first things first – gather aaall the information on fungi. This includes: finding previous experiments, finding pictures, finding if they produce something interesting, saving tons of scientific papers and reading a good percentage of those tons xD Which makes the first month (or two, or three) a very “I love my Computer” scenario. Still, I have managed to do some real lab work, just checking how my moulds look like, for example when they grow on a petri dish (above pic – these are fungi colonies). I also did some drawings of a simplified single-fungi version: meet Penicillium (right) and Aspergillus (left).

penicilliumaspergillus

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