Salmonella studied in space

12-03-2008 | |

Space shuttle Endeavor will be used by US scientists to conduct experiments to better understand why bacteria, such as Salmonella, are more likely to cause disease in space.

Several months ago, Arizona State University Prof Cheryl Nickerson designed an experiment that flew aboard a space shuttle. The experiment showed that microbes in space are nearly three times more likely to cause disease than the same microbes on earth.
Those results are to be replicated on shuttle Endeavor, reports United Press International. Nickerson and other scientists will examine how space affects other bacteria and test a way to counteract the space-induced increase in disease-causing potential.
In 2007, Nickerson and her team discovered space changed the way 167 genes were expressed in the Salmonella bacteria making the bacteria better able to infect people.