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Astronauts identify mystery space microbes

Posted on Wednesday, 3 January, 2018 | Comment icon 14 comments

The space-based laboratory was used to sequence the DNA. Image Credit: NASA
The DNA of microbes found on the International Space Station has been sequenced in space for the first time.
Rather than sending samples back to the Earth for analysis, astronauts have now succeeded in carrying out the process entirely from space using laboratory equipment aboard the ISS.

The bacteria, which were retrieved from various surfaces inside the station using a petri dish, were grown in to colonies that astronaut Peggy Whitson then used to amplify and sequence their DNA.

The results were double-checked back on Earth and were confirmed to be accurate.

The achievement is significant and marks a major step towards independent laboratories in space capable of analyzing everything from astronaut diseases to samples taken from other worlds.

It also means that during future missions to Mars and beyond, astronauts should be able to carry out their own analyses without having to rely on sending samples back to Earth-based laboratories.

Source: | Comments (14)

Tags: DNA, Microbes.ISS

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by seanjo on 3 January, 2018, 20:37
I thought they were talking about the microbes found on the outside of the space station, the headline seems to imply it. The word "onboard" doesn't just mean inside.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Piney on 3 January, 2018, 23:17
That's how it came across to me.
Comment icon #7 Posted by bison on 4 January, 2018, 17:06
The brief excerpt from the article, which heads up this thread, says that the bacteria were collected from various surfacesinsidethe International Space Station.
Comment icon #8 Posted by AZDZ on 4 January, 2018, 18:35
There are two different articles. The one above and the following dated 11/28/17.
Comment icon #9 Posted by toast on 4 January, 2018, 19:15
There are no waste pipes on the ISS1 so there is no poo that go outside the ISS1 trought a waste pipe. All ISS1 waste gets collected and stored in cargo spacecrafts like Progress/Cyngus units until they get dropped off from the ISS and burn up during reentry.
Comment icon #10 Posted by UFOwatcher on 4 January, 2018, 19:38
Very confusing IMO
Comment icon #11 Posted by seanjo on 5 January, 2018, 13:46
Not according to NASA...they eject waste feces at intervals to burn up in the atmosphere, I assumed that meant a waste pipe of some sort.
Comment icon #12 Posted by bison on 5 January, 2018, 16:17
Well, it's been reported thatthey've found microbes both inside and outside the International Space Station. Those inside are now known to be the sorts associated with humans. Those found outside have been repeatedly mentionedfor quite a long time. It's been suggested that these might be from life not of this Earth. Testing of these 'outside' microbes has been proposed and anticipated, but no results have been put forth. It seems that it should have been possible to conduct the the tests by now. Of course, if they found something alive that couldn't be connected with Earth life, there would ... [More]
Comment icon #13 Posted by toast on 5 January, 2018, 17:02
According to NASA, poo and other waste get disposed in/by cargo spacecrafts. If the poo from the ISS1 would be wasted directly, the whole ISS1 orbit would be filled up with frozzen poo piles travelling at a speed of 28Kkm/h and endangering the station. Years ago, urine had been wasted from the MIR directly, leading to huge damages at the MIR`s solar cells.
Comment icon #14 Posted by seanjo on 5 January, 2018, 17:12
I kind of had a waste pipe/cannon in mind, but I stand corrected.

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