The SETI Institute in the news – Media overview. March 1-15, 2022

The 2022 Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors are chosen

The class of 2022 has 24 members – teachers from across the country who have been chosen to participate in the Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors (AAA) program and to fly on the SOFIA aircraft in the next cycle. They will receive a week-long training and unforgettable memories. AAA is a professional development program for science teachers to enhance science education and enhance student learning and STEM engagement. The AAA program includes teachers from middle schools, high schools, and community colleges.

[Jim]Young admitted he was already starstruck – thinking about how he will work and learn from astronomers and mission directors. And he can’t wait to bring that experience back to the classroom.

“I wish I could take all of my students on trips with me,” he said. “It would really get them excited about science and math. But my hope is to bring that excitement back here to the classroom.

“This powerful STEM program will allow the SETI Institute to continue bringing NASA science into classrooms across the country,” said AAA program manager Dr. Dana Backman. “These teachers will use their professional development and STEM immersion experiences to deliver real-world content to their students that highlights the value of scientific inquiry and the wide variety of STEM career paths available to them. “

Stargazing for all

SETI Institute partner Unistellar has released a new version of its user-friendly telescope, the Equinox eVscope, and is also expanding its network of citizen scientists in sub-Saharan Africa.

We will soon have our first eVscope customer in Kenya. My dream is that one day we will have our telescopes across sub-Saharan Africa. This new astronomy is truly astronomy for everyone,” [Franck Marchis] enthusiasm.

RocketSilver linings?

The world has decried the crash of space junk on the Moon, but perhaps some good science can be gleaned from the wreckage, which has created a new crater on the far side of the Moon.

Dr Franck Marchis, from the SETI Institute, which searches for signs of extraterrestrial life, said: ‘One of the things we want to see is if there is evidence of water – and maybe even of life.
“It’s the first time we’ve seen properly under the dust.”

overall science

Join hosts Seth Shostak and Molly Bentley each week as they explore emerging science and technology research.

You are exposed
There is no place like “ome”. Our microbiome is very influential in determining your health. But it’s not the only “ome” to do so. Your exposome – environmental exposure over a lifetime – also plays a role.
Find out how scientists hope to calculate your entire exposome, from food to air pollution to water contamination.
Additionally, new research into the role microbes play in the development of neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and the heated debate over when microbes first colonize the body. Could a fetus have its own microbiome?
Also, choose your friends wisely: Studies of microbe-swapping gazelles reveal the pros — and cons — of being social.
And why the sensors of future toilets will allow you to perform a microbiome analysis with every flush.

With guests Rob Knight, Vanessa Ezenwa, Indira Mysorekar, Gary Miller

Identity crisis
DNA is the gold standard for identification. Except when it’s not. In rare cases, when a person has two complete sets of DNA, that person’s identity may be up in the air. Meanwhile, DNA ancestry tests are proving frustratingly vague: they give generalities about your origin rather than anything specific. And decoding a genome is still relatively expensive and time-consuming. So, as we hone our ability to work with DNA, we’re looking for a quick and easy biomarker test to tell us who we are.
In this hour: the story of chimeras – people who have two sets of DNA; a journalist whose ancestry tests revealed she was related to Napoleon and Marie Antoinette; and eyes have it in Somaliland, the first nation to use iris scanners in an election. Find out why your irises may be what ultimately sets you apart from the crowd.

With guests Tina Hesman Saey, Carl Zimmer, Kevin Bowyer

Continued overall science the episodes can be found on


The SETI Institute hosts weekly interviews with leading scientists on social media. Recent Live SETI episodes include:

Can sonification of the mind help us communicate with the universe?
Meet Mike von der Nahmer, our new artist in residence! Mike is a composer, sound researcher, music psychotherapist and music dramaturge. Central to his work is the quest for the sonification of the mind, a (utopian) idea that could help us understand the complexities of the brain through audible representation. Mike will speak with SETI AIR Program Director Bettina Forget about his work with the German Aerospace Center where he sonifies air traffic control data to increase situational awareness, his interest in bio-acoustics and the possible connection between the human mind and the thinking universe.

AI for the Good of Humanity
Frontier Development Lab (FDL) is an applied artificial intelligence research program that applies machine learning, data science, and high performance computing to solve problems for the benefit of humanity. We leverage space and ground data to accelerate new discoveries, improve decisions, and support and optimize scientific workflows using AI tools. We have met challenges in the areas of lunar exploration, astronaut health and disaster response.

Join Bill Diamond, CEO of the SETI Institute, and James Parr, Director of FDL, to hear some of our success stories and find out what lies ahead in 2022!

Videos of all past Facebook Live events are available on our Facebook page, on our YouTube channel,