Crew 228 Science Report October 8th

Hi W@yne and everyone!

Here is the very last science report from crew228! Thank you all for being a terrific mission support crew!!!

Crew 228 Science Report 08-Oct-2021

Crew Scientist / GreenHab Officer Inga Popovaite

Science Report


Today, Lindsay concluded DNA sampling of regolith she
collected along the slopes of the Jotunheim structure, an inverted river bed located approximately two kilometers North of the HAB (38.41712 N, -110.78466 W (NAD27)). The samples
were collected from the same geographical feature sampled by Maggiori
et al. (2020), who confirmed the presences of microbes from all three
kingdoms of life, including extremophiles that could potentially
survive the harsh elements of the Martian environment.

Lindsay extracted DNA using a Soil DNA Isolation Plus Kit (Product #64000, Norgen Biotek Corp) and then prepared the DNA samples into libraries using the Field Sequencing Kit (SQK-LRK001, Oxford Nanopore Technology). She used the handheld DNA sequencer MinION to basecall and sequence the libraries and the MinKNOW software to perform metagenomics analyses. She plans to finalize analyzes at home lab.

Overall, this process will allow her to identify what organisms, if any, are
present in the regolith samples. Lindsay aims to validate the findings of
Maggiori et al. (2020), only now conducting the complete experimental
process from regolith sample collection to metagenomics analysis while
undergoing planetary exploration simulation at MDRS, all as a
proof-of-concept that metagenomics studies can be completed in
this remote environment.


Today Jin summarized his findings and proposed changes to the MDRS map. He will email these suggestions to Mark Levesque.


Inga is finalizing her dissertation data collection. She also got some feedback for the emotion management study she was piloting at the MDRS.


Maggiori, Catherine, Jessica Stromberg, Yolanda Blanco, Jacqueline
Goordial, Edward Cloutis, Miriam García-Villadangos, Victor Parro, and
Lyle Whyte. 2020. “The Limits, Capabilities, and Potential for Life
Detection with MinION Sequencing in a Paleochannel Mars Analog.”
Astrobiology 20(3):375–93. doi: 10.1089/ast.2018.1964.

Inga Popovaitė,

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