Bacteria Found Mutating in Space

The International Space Station was launched 25 years ago and has hosted nearly 300 astronauts from around the world. Each of those astronauts carries their own natural biome into space. There have been many experiments on the effects of space on bacteria, which show the effects of microgravity, radiation, air quality, and other conditions on their rate of mutation. But there are also bacteria that just go along for the ride, and a sampling of those bacteria show evidence of mutation as well. A survey of environmental bacteria on the ISS was conducted in 2019, and further research was done on 13 strains of Enterobacter bugandensis, which can cause gastrointestinal infections.

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They say what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, and that has proven to be the case for this bacteria. Scientists found that the E. bugandensis on the space station has mutated to be more resistant to antimicrobial treatment. We don’t know what danger this may pose to astronauts, or the people they come home to after their mission. Read more about this discovery at Gizmodo.  -via Fark

(Image credit:NASA)

Source: neatorama

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