This is Kai Rasmussen’s blog. He is the webmaster for astrobotany.com, and UW molecular biology research undergrad. These are updates about the process, if you are interested.
For me, the higher I’ve gone in biological sciences, the more I’ve realized how much individual fields blend and overlap with each other. This is something I considered today as I attended my virology class.
I made a point to buy up most of the domains associated with the “astro” prefix (which one of you has purchased astrobiochemistry.com and astrogeology.com?!). Of course, we own astrobotany.com and astromicrobiology.com. Just recently, however, we also purchased astrohydrology.com and astrovirology.com.
Virology is technically a sub-discipline of microbiology, so I guess it’s fair to say that astrovirology is technically a sub-discipline of astromicrobiology? Astrovirology is a a sub-discipline of virology is a sub-discipline of microbiology is a sub-discipline of both astromicrobiology and astrobiology is a sub-discipline of astronomy and biology.
That’s pretty funny to me. It’s kind of noisy and continues the great question: “Where does a scientific field begin, and where does it end?”
Maybe we should’ve ended with astrobotany.com. But what about those key bacterial interactions between root systems and rhizobia in plants? Certainly, that should be explored in the advent of space agriculture. What about plant disease? We have a hard enough time combatting plant disease on earth. The implications for spaceflight plant pathology are potentially critical. Hence, we buy astromicrobiology.com and astrovirology.com.
Hopefully this categorization pays off.
Speaking of crossing disciplines, we’re crossing talk shows with science. Keep your eye out for the first episode of The Astrobotany Show with yours truly!
Let’s grow plants in space.