Hello Nature readers,
Today we discover how bacteria survive in NASA’s clean rooms by eating cleaning products, learn why diversity wins at science and celebrate generations of volunteer glacier observers in Iceland.
|The James Webb Space Telescope in the clean room at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.(NASA/Chris Gunn)|
Even the clean rooms where NASA assembles spacecraft — where employees wear face masks and full-body, hooded coveralls — have their own microbiomes. It turns out that the bacteria survive by eating the alcohol and floor detergent meant to banish them. The results suggest that NASA will have to work harder to ensure its spacecraft don’t carry life with them to other worlds. “To be a bit Jurassic Park about it: Life will find a way,” says astrobiologist Rakesh Mogul.The Atlantic | 3 min read
Reference: Astrobiology paper