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Scientists at Université de Montréal and McGill University have pioneered and tested a new genomic methodology which reveals a complex bacterial ecosystem at work on the International Space Station.
Their study is published today in Environmental Microbiology.
Types - Microbes - Space - Station - Approach
Until now, relatively little was known about the different types of microbes found on the space station. The new approach enables researchers to identify and map different species inside the ISS, which will ultimately help safeguard astronauts' health and be key to future long-term space travel.
It will also have applications in the realms of environmental management and health care.
Methodology - Snapshots - World - Space - Possibilities
"The new methodology provides us spectacular snapshots of the bacterial world in space and the possibilities of applying this method to explore new microbiome environments are really exciting," said Nicholas Brereton, a researcher at UdeM's Institut de recherche en biologie végétale.
The challenge of maintaining cleanliness within space environments was first documented on the Russian MIR space station, where conditions eventually deteriorated so much that mould became widespread. On the ISS, space agencies have been trying to reduce the amount of microbial growth in the station since it...
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