Microbiologists search the clouds
Article first published online: 3 JUN 2011
©2002. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union
Volume 83, Issue 23, page 254, 4 June 2002
How to Cite
2002), Microbiologists search the clouds, Eos Trans. AGU, 83(23), 254–254, doi:10.1029/2002EO000178.(
- Issue published online: 3 JUN 2011
- Article first published online: 3 JUN 2011
- Cited By
On 22 May, a team of microbiologists used a prototype cloud-catcher mounted on a research plane to collect samples from low-lying cumulus clouds near Oxford, England. The researchers, from the University of East London (UEL), are investigating whether an active and self-sustaining ecosystem exists in clouds, and whether airborne microbes may play an active role in forming clouds and causing rainfall.
While scientists have known that microorganisms, including bacteria, fungal spores, and algae, can survive and possibly reproduce in the atmosphere, the challenge, according to the UEL researchers, is to accurately detect, identify, and analyze microbial communities.