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Airborne Bacteria in Earth's Lower Stratosphere Resemble Taxa Detected in the Troposphere: Results From a New NASA Aircraft Bioaerosol Collector (ABC)

Overview of attention for article published in Frontiers in Microbiology, August 2018
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (85th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (89th percentile)

Mentioned by

news
1 news outlet
twitter
7 tweeters

Citations

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16 Dimensions

Readers on

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51 Mendeley
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Title
Airborne Bacteria in Earth's Lower Stratosphere Resemble Taxa Detected in the Troposphere: Results From a New NASA Aircraft Bioaerosol Collector (ABC)
Published in
Frontiers in Microbiology, August 2018
DOI 10.3389/fmicb.2018.01752
Pubmed ID
Authors

David J. Smith, Jayamary Divya Ravichandar, Sunit Jain, Dale W. Griffin, Hongbin Yu, Qian Tan, James Thissen, Terry Lusby, Patrick Nicoll, Sarah Shedler, Paul Martinez, Alejandro Osorio, Jason Lechniak, Samuel Choi, Kayleen Sabino, Kathryn Iverson, Luisa Chan, Crystal Jaing, John McGrath

Abstract

Airborne microorganisms in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere remain elusive due to a lack of reliable sample collection systems. To address this problem, we designed, installed, and flight-validated a novel Aircraft Bioaerosol Collector (ABC) for NASA's C-20A that can make collections for microbiological research investigations up to altitudes of 13.7 km. Herein we report results from the first set of science flights-four consecutive missions flown over the United States (US) from 30 October to 2 November, 2017. To ascertain how the concentration of airborne bacteria changed across the tropopause, we collected air during aircraft Ascent/Descent (0.3 to 11 km), as well as sustained Cruise altitudes in the lower stratosphere (~12 km). Bioaerosols were captured on DNA-treated gelatinous filters inside a cascade air sampler, then analyzed with molecular and culture-based characterization. Several viable bacterial isolates were recovered from flight altitudes, including Bacillus sp., Micrococcus sp., Arthrobacter sp., and Staphylococcus sp. from Cruise samples and Brachybacterium sp. from Ascent/Descent samples. Using 16S V4 sequencing methods for a culture-independent analysis of bacteria, the average number of total OTUs was 305 for Cruise samples and 276 for Ascent/Descent samples. Some taxa were more abundant in the flight samples than the ground samples, including OTUs from families Lachnospiraceae, Ruminococcaceae and Erysipelotrichaceae as well as the following genera: Clostridium, Mogibacterium, Corynebacterium, Bacteroides, Prevotella, Pseudomonas, and Parabacteroides. Surprisingly, our results revealed a homogeneous distribution of bacteria in the atmosphere up to 12 km. The observation could be due to atmospheric conditions producing similar background aerosols across the western US, as suggested by modeled back trajectories and satellite measurements. However, the influence of aircraft-associated bacterial contaminants could not be fully eliminated and that background signal was reported throughout our dataset. Considering the tremendous engineering challenge of collecting biomass at extreme altitudes where contamination from flight hardware remains an ever-present issue, we note the utility of using the stratosphere as a proving ground for planned life detection missions across the solar system.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 7 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 51 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 51 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 16 31%
Student > Master 6 12%
Student > Ph. D. Student 6 12%
Researcher 4 8%
Student > Doctoral Student 4 8%
Other 7 14%
Unknown 8 16%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 11 22%
Engineering 10 20%
Environmental Science 5 10%
Immunology and Microbiology 4 8%
Earth and Planetary Sciences 4 8%
Other 7 14%
Unknown 10 20%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 14. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 18 March 2020.
All research outputs
#1,301,144
of 14,602,396 outputs
Outputs from Frontiers in Microbiology
#978
of 12,741 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#40,691
of 273,172 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Frontiers in Microbiology
#39
of 389 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 14,602,396 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 91st percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 12,741 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a little more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 5.9. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 92% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 273,172 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 85% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 389 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 89% of its contemporaries.