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:... Continue Reading →

First week of PhD – packing, house stuff and loooots of bureaucracy! #spacemicrobes

I did it. I am doing a PhD in Space Microbiology at the German Aerospace Center! It officially started on monday, 3rd of April 2017, but before that there was a whole sea of things to prepare, so I´m couting the wonderful week of PhD preps as a crucial part of it :p #1 -... Continue Reading →

Antibiotic resistant Staphylococcus aureus is the next Space Microbe to have a coloring pdf!

The current world-wide problem of antibiotic resistant bacteria has taken microbiologists to study deeper and deeper the effects of Space in antibiotic efficacy and on microbial virulence. We know now that bacteria can become more pathogenic while in microgravity, putting astronauts' health at risk. Staphylococcus aureus is one of the bacteria resistant to antibiotics, and it was one of... Continue Reading →

The space radiation master is here with its coloring pdf: Deinococcus radiodurans! #spacemicrobes

Deinococcus radiodurans is a bacterium that survives extreme doses of radiation: UV, X-rays, Υ-rays, you name it. This guy can stand it all!  It took a while but here you go - you can download its coloring pdf! This #spacemicrobe is also considered a model organism for life under martian conditions and has recently traveled on the outside of the... Continue Reading →

Fossils of the first microbes on Earth? Maybe. And they can be very similar to what we may find on Mars!

At first sight, the microfossils found in ~4.28 billion-year-old rocks in Quebec are no more than tiny filaments and tubes. But on a closer look they can be records of the first microbes on Earth, and this means life on Earth could have emerged much sooner than what we thought! These results were published in Nature yesterday... Continue Reading →

Underdog no more: Pluto has organics, water and a lot of energy!

"Back in my time Pluto was a planet" and the truth is it has always been a mystery for Pluto since it was discovered in 1930. With its re-classification as a dwarf planet in 2006 came a sense of "underdog" to Pluto, but the NASA's New Horizons mission, launched in 2006, brought the magic back! The fly-by... Continue Reading →

Seven new Earth-like planets, and three of them might have liquid water! Which #spacemicrobes might there be?

Seven Earth-size rocky planets were discovered, 40 light-years away, as part of the TRAPPIST-1 planetary System. This system is similar to our own solar system, but the star (Trappist-1) is much smaller than the sun - it's a dwarf-star - and the seven planets are in a much closer orbit around Trappist-1 - you can... Continue Reading →

Astrobiology at TEDxUniversity of Porto #spacemicrobes

On the 18th of February I got the chance to talk about Astrobiology to >500 people at TEDx University of Porto! What an amazing experience! It was a day full of interesting ideas, high-thinking conversations and powerful networking.  The video of the talk is on youtube, you can see it here. All the speakers had the chance... Continue Reading →

How not to get caught up in Media “false news” #fakenews

I admit I already got used to be very skeptical with everything I read, but the truth is that it is very easy to believe in anything that shows up right in front of you in a news feed - why wouldn't you?  However, over time and with a little practice, it becomes easier to stop... Continue Reading →

Two free online courses that can help you know more about human spaceflight and astrobiology!

Online courses are trendy, but not every course is engaging and easy to follow. I have tried some of them and found two free courses that can really help you know more about astrobiology and spaceflight: Astrobiology and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life (Coursera), and Human Spaceflight: an Introduction (edX). I leave you with more details on... Continue Reading →

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