Dissertation on Arabidopsis and Microgravity is Comprehensive, Powerful

Kai Rasmussen — Sep 28th 2017

Christina Johnson, a PhD candidate at the Miami University Graduate School has completed her dissertation on Arabidopsis Thaliana grown in microgravity. Dr. Johnson analyzed data from STS-131 (BRIC-16).  STS-131 was a shuttle launch in April of 2010.  STS-131 has yielded valuable data for astrobotany researchers.  Other papers include Kwon et al., 2015, which examined transcriptional response to spaceflight… Read More

Spaceflight Experiment Opportunity: ASGSR’s Ken Souza Award

Kai Rasmussen — May 22nd 2017

If you have an idea for an experiment that requires microgravity, consider applying for the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research (ASGSR)’s Ken Souza Award. If your proposal is selected you will receive a $1,000 grant and a free payload sample on Blue Origins New Shepard rocket in 2018. If you are interested please apply… Read More

Problems pop up fast, but science responds faster (check out the new clinostat)

Kai Rasmussen — May 1st 2017

It’s natural for people to worry about the future. Our generation worries about things that are especially pressing: climate change, overpopulation, destruction of habitats, etc. These issues are concerning, but I am continually amazed at how fast we respond to these problems. Science moves quickly; so quickly we often take it for granted. A hundred… Read More

Astrobotany Outreach at UW Science Expeditions

Kai Rasmussen — Apr 2nd 2017

Today, I headed over with members of the Gilroy Lab to the UW Health Sciences Learning Center to participate in Science Expeditions 2017. Science Expeditions is a public event where different researchers around the University present their work. Our focus for the day was plant cell biology and microscopy, but we talked about astrobotany research… Read More

Shenzhou 8 Study Highlights Changes in Plant Metabolism in Response to Spaceflight Stress

Kai Rasmussen — Mar 23rd 2017

A new paper has been released by scientists in China studying changes in gene expression in the model organism Arabidopsis Thaliana. This experiment used special biological hardware called SIMBOX (Science in Microgravity BOX) to fly plants aboard the Shenzhou 8 Spacecraft (November  of 2011).  It is understood that a spaceflight environment alters gene expression compared… Read More

NASA Discovers Potentially Habitable Planets Surrounding Nearby Star

Kai Rasmussen — Feb 23rd 2017

On 2/22/17 NASA announced news that their Spitzer telescope had discovered a seven planet system around TRAPPIST-1, a nearby star. TRAPPIST-1 is around 40 lightyears away, in the Aquarius constellation. Three of these planets are in the CHZ (Circumstellar Habitable Zone) which holds the promise of liquid water and consequently the ability to support life.… Read More