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Space isn’t, for now, turning bacteria on the International Space Station into nasty superbugs hellbent on infecting astronauts, according to a study published on Tuesday.
“There has been a lot of speculation about radiation, microgravity and the lack of ventilation and how that might affect living organisms, including bacteria,” said Erica Hartmann, lead author of a paper on the subject, published in the journal mSystems, and an assistant professor at Northwestern University in the US.
Conditions - Environment - Select - Superbugs - Advantage
“These are stressful, harsh conditions. Does the environment select for superbugs because they have an advantage? The answer appears to be ‘no’.”
A team of researchers from Northwestern and NASA’s Johnson Space Center compared two strains of bacteria found on Earth and the International Space Station. One was Staphylococcus aureus: a strain of MRSA commonly lurking on human skin that can cause a variety of issues, ranging from skin infections, such as pimples and boils, to potentially life-threatening diseases such as pneumonia and meningitis. The other, Bacillus cereus, nestles itself in soil and leftover food, and can give people food poisoning if ingested.
Samples - Bacteria - ISS - Resistance - Antibiotics
The samples of these bacteria on the ISS did mutate and develop a resistance to antibiotics, though...
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