Sunday 4 December 2016

Does E. coli’s resistance change in space?

Have you ever wondered about what happens to Escherichia coli’s resistance to antibiotics in space? A partnership between NASA’s Ames Research Center and Stanford University, both USA, has led to the creation of the E. coli AntiMicrobial Satellite (EcAMSat). This project will be investigating the effects of space microgravity – the weightlessness of being in space – on the bacterium’s resistance levels, important because astronauts’ immune systems are often weakened when on missions. The study will see various strains of E. coli sent into space, with their resistance to different concentrations of antibiotics tracked using a special kind of dye. The results  from this project could be useful in the future for prescribing the right dose of antibiotics for future astronauts.

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle

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