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Space Shuttle Studies Danger of Salmonella

by 5m Editor
12 March 2008, at 11:23am

US - An unlikely study is being carried out on an American space shuttle, Endeavor, to try and determine why bacteria such as Salmonella are more likely to cause disease in space.

An experiment designed by Arizona State University Professor Cheryl Nickerson that flew aboard space shuttle Atlantis last Autumn showed microbes in space are nearly three times more likely to cause disease than the same microbes on Earth.

United Press International says that Nickerson and other scientists now have experiments on Endeavor designed to replicate those results, examine how space affects other bacteria and test a way to counteract the space-induced increase in disease-causing potential.

Last Autumn, Nickerson and her team discovered space changed the way 167 genes were expressed in the bacteria Salmonella, a cause of food-borne illnesses, making the bacteria better able to infect people. She and her team will now test a way to eliminate or decrease the infectious risk to astronauts.

View the United Press International story by clicking here.

5m Editor