Friday, June 28, 2013

So You Wanna Go To Space. Can You Put Up With The Superpower Bacteria?

“The space-grown communities of bacteria, called biofilms, formed a ‘column-and-canopy’ structure not previously observed on Earth."--NASA.

Mars astronaut

We all love space here and we’re sure, given that thousands of people applied for a one-way trip to Mars, that at least some of you want to spend a long time in a spacecraft. But have you thought about the bacteria that will be going along with you?

If you don’t feel too squirmy to read on, understand this: one type of bacteria grown aboard two shuttle missions ended up being bigger and thicker than control colonies on Earth, new NASA research shows.
Two astronaut crews aboard space shuttle Atlantis grew colonies of bacteria (more properly speaking, biofilms) on behalf of researchers on Earth. Most biofilms are harmless, but a small number could be associated with disease.

Biofilms were all over the Mir space station, and managing them is also a “challenge” (according to NASA) on the International Space Station. Well, here’s how they appeared in this study:
 
For the rest of the story: www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-06/so-you-wanna-go-space-can-you-put-superpower-bacteria?src=SOC&dom=tw

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