Microbial Playoff Results

(NOTE:  The initial results that were published here turned out to be in error, the plates on the space station were mislabeled.   These are the correct winners.  Apologies.)

We’ve finished analyzing all the data from the “Microbial Playoffs” part of Project MERCCURI (described here). Each microbe that was chosen to fly to the International Space Station (list of candidate microbes here) was plated out 6 times on the plates that were analyzed in space. We looked at three categories; Best Huddle, Best Tip-Off, and Best Sprint. Here are the winners for each of the three categories:

Best Huddle (The microbe that grew to the highest density, really packing into their space)

BestHuddle_top3

Yuri’s Night, Los Angeles: The microbe “Kocuria rhizophila” was collected on a camera at a Yuri’s Night Party with Buzz Aldrin in Los Angeles. Here are some photos of the team swabbing Buzz Aldrin’s shoe. For an image of the microbe and more information, see the trading card at the Space Microbes web site.
San Antonio Spurs: The microbe “Kocuria kristinae” was collected on the court after a San Antonio Spurs game. Here are some photos of the team swabbing the court and a blog post about the experience. For an image of the microbe and more information, see the trading card at the Space Microbes web site.
Discover Magazine: The microbe “Micrococcus yunnanensis” was collected in a dictionary at the offices of Discover Magazine.  For an image of the microbe and more information, see the trading card at the Space Microbes web site.
Best Huddle Rankings
BestHuddleRankingsTEST3-page-001

Best Tip-Off (The microbe that got off to the fastest growing start straight out of the freezer)

BestTipoff_top3

Pop Warner Chittenango: The microbe “Bacillus pumilus” was collected on a Porta-Potty handle by Pop Warner Chittenango Bears cheerleaders. For an image of the microbe and more information, see the trading card at the Space Microbes web site.

Smithsonian Air & Space Museum: The microbe “Pantoea eucrina” was collected on the Mercury Orbitor at the Smithsonian Museum of Air and Space. Here are some photos of the team swabbing at the Museum. For an image of the microbe and more information, see the trading card at the Space Microbes web site.
Pop Warner Saints.  The microbe “Bacillus horikoshii” was collected on a football field by Pop Warner Saints cheerleaders from Port Reading, NJ.  See more information on the trading card.
    Best Tip-Off Rankings

BestTipoffRankingsTEST3-page-001

Best Sprint (The microbe that grew the fastest in any single 24-hour period in space)

BestSprint_top3

Oakland Raiders: The microbe “Bacillus aryabhatti” was collected on a practice football field used by the Oakland Raiders. For an image of the microbe and more information, see the trading card at the Space Microbes web site.

Pop Warner Chittenango: The microbe “Bacillus pumilus” was collected on a Porta-Potty handle by Pop Warner Chittenango Bears cheerleaders. For an image of the microbe and more information, see the trading card at the Space Microbes web site.
Mars Exploration Rover (JPL): Paenibacillus elgii: On a Mars Exploration Rover before launch (2004) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL- NASA, Pasadena, CA) For an image of the microbe and more information, see the trading card at the Space Microbes web site.
                                Best Sprint Rankings
BestSprintRankingsTEST3-page-001