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Death? NASA sends Escherichia coli into space to enhance drug resistance

via:网易科技     time:2017/11/27 13:05:38     readed:720

Figure 1: after arriving at the international space station, the crew and the ground controller jointly put the satellite into orbit, and plans to start the experiment automatically

"If the results show that bacteria are more resistant to antibiotics in microgravity, we need to design measures based on bacterial genes," said Martin, chief researcher at the EcAMSat research project at Stanford University in California (A.C.Matin). If you want to explore space, you need to know what human life system will be affected in microgravity environment."

Scientists believe that bacteria like E.coli may trigger bacterial defense systems in a microgravity environment, making antibiotics harder to deal with. Bacteria on the earth produce natural resistance to conventional antibiotics in the same way. By understanding the changes in the resistance of Escherichia coli in space, we can better understand the bacteria on the planet, so as to find a more effective treatment. Scientists will compare two E. coli strains: one that has naturally produced genes that can help them resist antibiotics, and the other without.

Escherichia coli strains used in EcAMSat can cause urinary tract infections, which may occur in astronauts in space, accompanied by other types of infections. Scientists hope that these studies will help them find the ideal dose of E. coli infection in space, and explore other technologies to enhance the power of existing antibiotics. EcAMSat is a unique autonomous satellite, which means that it can do experiments without earth communication.

Figure 2:EcAMSat the experimental module, which contains Escherichia coli, nutrients, antibiotics, special dyes and waste.

NASA Ames Research Center at California's Silicon Valley (Ames Research Center) project manager Stefan Premo (Stevan Spremo) said: "in addition to low earth orbit, to understand the microgravity and space radiation effects on human health, we first need to learn more about how to respond to the space environment of biological knowledge. In this experiment the lessons learned will become a stepping stone to more advanced biological space mission, to help solve many key problems." Ames mission chief technical expert Tony Rico (Tony Ricco) said: "although the EcAMSat will only fly again, but many of its components can be used to start different tasks, such as detection of life in the solar system"

Figure 3: this experiment is carried out by a cube shaped, shoebox sized satellite, which has just been deployed on the space station

Bacteria are mixed with a dye, which turns blue into pink. Blue dye suggests that most cells die in response to antibiotics. The more cells that are alive and alive, the color of the dye is pink. Airborne color sensors will detect these changes and determine the resistance of two Escherichia coli to antibiotics at different doses.

The experiment will last 150 hours, when EcAMSat will orbit the earth, and the data set (less than 1Mb of total capacity) will be sent back to earth via radio. After the completion of the mission, the small satellite will be burned in the earth's atmosphere 18 months later. The use of sensors and microfluidic technology from EcAMSat, NASA is developing a technique to search for life on Europa and Titan two such as the satellite."

(original title: Are you sure that

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