Join in cutting-edge scientific research to uncover the diversity of microscopic life in urban environments across the UK! The Microverse project will discover which species are living on UK buildings and what factors affect their diversity. While there's a lot of research exploring microbes inside our homes and on our bodies, little research has looked at the microbes living on the outside of our buildings. Although invisible, microorganisms provide many ecosystem services: recycling nutrients, producing oxygen and breaking down pollutants. Investigating which microorganisms are present in our built environments will help us better understand how they support and interact within our ecosystem. Schools and community groups in the UK can sign up for a free participation pack before 29th April 2015. The pack includes all the instructions and equipment you need to take part, plus supporting resources for teachers. What does it cost to take part? Taking part in The Microverse project is completely free for secondary schools and community groups in the UK, but requires a definite commitment to collecting the data and returning the samples to us. What will the packs include? Packs will include enough equipment to allow a group of 30 students to take part and send the samples back. They will also include teachers’ resources such as a sample risk assessment, guidance on obtaining permission for sampling buildings, instructions for completing the field work, background information on microorganisms and DNA sequencing, and sample lesson plans to assist in pre- and post-field work teaching. The Microverse should be carried out as a group, so get your school, community group, or a bunch of friends involved.
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