In November, all MultiKulti partners met again for the biannual project meeting, this time in Cologne at the Institute of Aerospace Medicine of the German Aerospace Center (DLR).
First, we got to know the diverse facilities of DLR Cologne during several guided tours. These included the once coldest wind tunnel in Europe, which is now, after its shut down, being converted into a laboratory, the European Astronaut Center of ESA, where astronauts from all over the world are trained, and the :envihab, a state-of-the-art research facility for aerospace medicine in which the interactions between humans and the environment are studied from a medical, biological and psychological perspective.
However, the focus of the meeting was of course on the discussion of the project progress. Each project partner reported on the work and presented the achieved results. For example, samples from the Atacama Desert are currently cultivated on salt media, detection methods for marine archaea are established and metagenomes of various samples are evaluated. First isolates of manganese oxidizers could already be obtained from demanganization filters of a drinking water plant. In addition, the current state of construction of the bioreactor was discussed, which is expected to be ready for its first use in the coming year. Additionally, also further sampling devices with different sensors, which were designed in the MultiKulti project, were presented.
All approaches and results were actively discussed and further ideas and suggestions for the individual subprojects were given. In addition, further joint work was planned and next steps were discussed. Overall, the meeting was dominated by lively exchange and set new impulses for the project.