Microbes in Microgravity
For a change of pace–some real experiments. What happens to microbes in space?
I’ve reviewed NASA grants for bugs in micrograv, and lots of interesting things come out. Some bacteria grow faster in micrograv; and some pathogens get more virulent. Bacteria more readily form biofilms (such as these grown by my student). And antibiotic resistance increases, while human immunity decreases. Companies like Astrogenetix are growing MRSA (deadly drug-resistant staph) aboard the ISS to somehow develop new drugs. (Supposedly the strain is “safe” for the astronauts.)
What kind of experiments do you think they should do on the space station?