Monday, September 24, 2007

Attack of the Space Bugs

Creepy! Bacteria sent to space come back more infectious. According to this article, salmonella bacteria was sent into space on the shuttle Atlantis in 2006. It became deadlier after it's time in space.

The study also examined the morphology of the bacteria during space flight and found changes that indicate the formation of a biofilm, which was not observed in the samples grown on Earth. Biofilms are associated with increased virulence of bacteria.

Biofilm sounds kind of SCIFI all by itself. The bacteria grew a biofilm in space that didn't exist on Earth? Ick.

After about three weeks, 40 percent of mice fed the salmonella from Earth were still alive while only 10 percent of those given the bacteria from space survived, according to the study.

It sucks to be a mouse. Even the winners lose.

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