Aspidistra (as in George Orwell's "Keep the Aspidistra Flying") as the name NASA should use when re-naming Sansevieria trifasciata, also called snake plant, mother-in-law's tongue - credit to Pat & Lindsay Oliver for this, or it can be The Sword of Mars
I vote The Sword of Mars
From: Sprague, John D (HQ-JD000) <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, Apr 12, 2014 at 4:02 PM
Subject: Growing Food For A Martian Table
To: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
Received a question just now: Is there a list of potentially toxic compounds on space missions that plants could potentially clear from the environment? Formaldehyde is a great example I’ve heard of in the past. j
Scientific article on sensors of this type in pubmed.gov:
Thick film semiconductor gas sensors based on aluminum-doped zinc oxide (AZO) with nanoparticle size were fabricated to detect volatile organic compound (VOC) existed in building, especially, formaldehyde (HCHO) gas which was known as the cause of sick building syndrome. The sensing materials for screen printing were prepared using roll milling process with binder. The crystallite sizes of prepared materials were about 15 nm through X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Gas response characteristics were examined for formaldehyde (HCHO), benzene, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide gas existing in building. In particular, the sensors showed responses to HCHO gas at sub ppm as a function of operating temperatures and gas concentrations. Also, we investigated sensitivity, repeativity, selectivity, and response time of sensor. The transients were very sharp, taking less than 2 s for 90% response. The sensor has shown very stable response at 350 °C and followed a very good behavior and showed 60% response in 50 ppb HCHO concentration at 350 °C operating temperatures.
Plant lists from triciawang.com blog from John Sprague's link:
Bamboo Palm, Spider Plant (place this near wood or fireplace), English Ivy and Peace Lily (grow under artificial light!).
NASA’s lists of the top 50 plants with air-filtering rate from 1-10 is in the chart below. I am going to buy three new plants that I just learned about - both are rated at 8.5 on the 1-10 scale: the Areca Palm because it’s a natural humidifier, Lady Palm because it’s bug resistant. Mother in-law’s tongue and Spider Plant because they are low-maintenance.
I also like the rubber plant, snake plant (grows anywhere even with no light), and Christmas cactus
(gives off oxygen at night).
The study recommends philodendron, but I would be careful of this plant because it can harm the body when placed too close
Current methods of toxic substance/gas/sample detection:
To monitor microbial levels on ISS crewmembers use devices called grab sample containers, dual absorbent tubes and swabs to collect station air, water and surface samples and send them to Earth for detailed analysis and identification every 6 months. This data provides controllers on Earth detailed information about the type of microbial contaminants on board ISS. The controllers can then give direction to the crew on sanitation if increased microbial growth is identified. The crew keeps microbes under control on ISS through periodic scheduled sanitation of the ISS.
Missions to beyond low Earth orbit will increase the length of time that astronauts live and work in closed environments. To complete future long-duration missions the crews must remain healthy in closed environments, hence future spacecraft must provide sensors to monitor environmental health and accurately determine and control the physical, chemical and biological environment of the crew living areas and their environmental control systems.
"Bryophytes, especially mosses, colonize bare rock surfaces, leading ultimately to the initiation of soil formation. This in turn produces a substratum attractive to seed plant colonists that invade these mossy sites and, through their shading, eliminate the pioneer mosses but create a shaded habitat suitable for other bryophytes. These new colonists, in turn, are important in nutrient cycling in the developing forest vegetation."
2. Hydroponics for limited space (pre-settlement, on space shuttle or other limited space environment)
"The volatile organic analyzer (VOA) is an atmospheric analysis device on ISS that uses a gas chromatograph and ion mobility spectrometer to detect, identify, and quantify a selected list of volatile organic compounds (i.e., ethanol, methanol and 2-propanol) that are harmful to humans at high levels in a closed environment, such as ISS. The ISS also utilizes the POTOK air filtration device employed by Roscosmos to disinfect and inactivate microorganisms by electrostatic pulses and charged ions.
The crew keeps microbes under control on ISS through periodic scheduled sanitation of the ISS.
Missions to beyond low Earth orbit will increase the length of time that astronauts live and work in closed environments. To complete future long-duration missions the crews must remain healthy in closed environments, hence future spacecraft must provide sensors to monitor environmental health and accurately determine and control the physical, chemical and biological environment of the crew living areas and their environmental control systems."
Questions will taken via Twitter with the hashtags #GrowFoodMartian or #DeployGreen or the Q&A feature of Hangout on Air. We will also be checking the hackpad , which is really the best repository for all questions on this challenge.
Marina MDevices for spoilage detection currently in the research phases:
"A polymer material that raises a red flag, changing color in the presence biogenic amines, compounds produced by the bacterial decay of food proteins. In laboratory tests, the polymer identified and distinguished between 22 different kinds of key food-spoilage amines with 97 percent accuracy.
Researchers also used the polymer to check the freshness of a tuna by detecting the amount of amines present in the sample. "The sensitivity of the described assay is better than the typical mammalian sense of smell and is able to detect this nonvolatile amine at hazardous levels before the fish would begin to smell rancid," the report states. The approach also shows promise for detecting spoilage in other food types, it adds.
The article "A Food Freshness Sensor Using the Multistate Response from Analyte-Induced Aggregation of a Cross-Reactive Poly(thiophene)" is scheduled for the Aug. 16 issue of ACS' Organic Letters"
"sequences of oligodeoxyfluorosides (ODF; fluorophores attached to a DNA backbone), whose fluorescent response upon UV excitation changes colour in the presence of gaseous analytes produced by bacteria or mould.
In addition, the dyes can be printed on paper using commercial inkjet printers, which would give them the ease of use and widespread applicability of litmus paper"
3. Tao, H., Brenckle, M. A., Yang, M., Zhang, J., Liu, M., Siebert, S. M., Averitt, R. D., Mannoor, M. S., McAlpine, M. C., Rogers, J. A., Kaplan, D. L. and Omenetto, F. G. (2012), Silk-Based Conformal, Adhesive, Edible Food Sensors. Adv. Mater., 24: 1067–1072.
An array of passive metamaterial antennas fabricated on all protein-based silk substrates were conformally transferred and adhered to the surface of an apple. This process allows the opportunity for intimate contact of micro- and nanostructures that can probe, and accordingly monitor changes in, their surrounding environment. This provides in situ monitoring of food quality. It is to be noted that this type of sensor consists of all edible and biodegradable components, holding utility and potential relevance for healthcare and food/consumer products and markets.
The bryophytes are autotrophic cryptogams and an important component of the flora. They occur throughout the globe in different habitats, particularly on moist and shady places. They grow on soil, rocks, tree trunks, branches, leaves, buildings, old monuments etc. and in wetlands.
Environmental pollution is increasing day by day, posing a very serious problem for the flora and fauna. A large number of pollutants including heavy metals are adversely affecting our environment. Heavy metals are emitted from solid fuel combustion, vehicular emissions and in industrial processes. Bryophytes are widely used as bio-indicators for their unique and very specific responses.