Tuesday , May 18 2021

The international space station abounds with bacteria and fungi



The international space station abounds with bacteria and fungi that can cause disease, a new study showed.

They also make biofilms that can promote resistance to antibiotics and even corrode the spacecraft, warn scientists.

The findings are important for the protection of astronaut's health and the safety of crafts on future long missions on Mars and beyond.

The international space station (pictured) abounds in bacteria and fungi that can cause disease, a new study showed. They also make biofilms that promote antibiotic resistance and even corrode the spacecraft, warn scientists

The international space station (pictured) abounds in bacteria and fungi that can cause disease, a new study showed. They also make biofilms that promote antibiotic resistance and even corrode the spacecraft, warn scientists

Established in 1998, which is about 400 kilometers above Earth, it has visited more than 222 astronauts and six delivery missions annually until August 2017.

Although various cell components were constructed in sterile environments before being sent to the orbit, and routine surveillance was carried out, a comprehensive catalog of what is required on internal surfaces has so far not been present.

NASA scientists found that ISS microbes mainly came from humans and were similar to those in public buildings and offices here on Earth.

The most prominent bacteria were Staphylococcus – which account for more than a quarter (26%) of the total species isolated from the samples taken, followed by Pantoe (23%) and Bacillus (11%).

They included organisms that are considered opportunistic pathogens on Earth – such as Staphylococcus aureus, which made a tenth of the total identified isolates and is usually found on the skin and nose passage; and Enterobacter, which is associated with the human gastrointestinal tract.

"The International Space Station is the largest human space platform in the Earth's low orbit – about 400 km above the Earth's surface – and the last 17 years has been the continual abode of the international community of astronauts performing space research," said the author and microbiologist. Kasthuri Venkateswaran from NASA's Naval Laboratory in California.

ISS is a hermetically sealed closed system, subjected to microgravity, radiation, increased carbon dioxide and air recirculation through HEPA filters and is considered to be "extreme environment".

"It is known that microbes survive and even progress in extreme conditions, and microbes present at the ISS may have existed since the beginning of the ISS, while others may be introduced every time new astronauts or cargoes arrive."

He added that new studies on "built microbiology" on Earth show that the design of offices, classrooms, museums and hospitals affects bacteria, fungi, viruses and protozoa that end up being unique to each interior space.

"Specific microbes in these indoor areas have been shown to affect human health by affecting our sensitivity to allergies, infectious diseases, or sick building syndrome," he added.

"The impact of the internal microbial on human health becomes more and more important to astronauts during flights due to the altered immunity associated with space flights and the lack of sophisticated medical interventions available on Earth.

"In the light of the upcoming new era of human expansion in the universe, such as the future journey of the universe on Mars, the microbial space environment needs to be thoroughly investigated to identify the types of microorganisms that can accumulate in this unique environment, long lasting and surviving impact on human health and spacecraft infrastructure. & # 39;

Microbes identified at the cell included organisms considered opportunistic pathogens on Earth, such as Staphylococcus aureus (pictured, stock image), commonly found on the skin and nose paths that make up a tenth of the total number of isolates.

Microbes identified at the cell included organisms considered opportunistic pathogens on Earth, such as Staphylococcus aureus (pictured, stock image), commonly found on the skin and nose paths that make up a tenth of the total number of isolates.

Traditional bugs have been used to track bugs in space, although it is known that many microbes can not be breeded by standard techniques.

To fully understand the true number and diversity of microbes surviving in the ISS, researchers have used traditional culture techniques and gene sequencing methods for surface analysis.

Researchers have collected samples of surface bacteria and mushrooms from eight places within the ISS – including a dining table, exercise platform, dormitories, a toilet, and a window for observation.

Swabs were taken repeatedly from each site during three different missions over a total period of 14 months to show how the fungal and microbial populations changed over time as well as between different sites.

Experts have found that although the fungal communities at the space station remained largely stable, the microbe populations were similar in the ISS, but they changed over time.

For example, samples of microorganisms deleted during the second mission had a higher population diversity than those collected during the other two periods.

Experts believe that these changes may be the result of various astronauts living on the ISS during each mission.

They found that ISS wipes are similar to other built environments in which microbe forms human interest.

"Did these opportunistic bacteria cause astronaut ailments on the ISS unknown," said author of paper and microbiologist Aleksandra Checinska Sielaf, of Washington University.

This would depend on a number of factors, including the health status of each individual, and how these organisms work while in the universe.

"In spite of this, discovering possible organisms that cause disease emphasizes the importance of further research to examine how these microorganisms of ISS operate in the universe."

It is well known that many organisms found on ISS also form biofilms belonging to bacteria (Acinetobacter, Sphingomonas, Bacillus, Burkholderia, Corynebacterium, and Klebsiella) and fungal (Penicillium, Aspergillus, Cryptococcus and Rhodotorella) genera.

This could cause problems for astronauts if they are infected because biofilms are fueling resistance to antibiotics, while biofilm formation can "reduce the stability of the infrastructure by causing mechanical blockage, reduce heat transfer efficiency, and boost microbial-induced corrosion."

"Some of the microbes we identified on ISS were also involved in microbial-induced corrosion on Earth," said document author Camilla Urbaniak, a jet engineer microbiologist.

"However, the role played by corrosion on ISS is yet to be identified."

"Understanding the potential impact of microbial and fungal organisms on astronaut's health, understanding their potential impact on spacecraft will be important for maintaining stability of the crew's construction during long-term space missions when routine indoor maintenance can not be carried out so easily."

"Our study provides a first extensive directory of bacteria and fungi on the surfaces in closed space systems and can be used to improve security measures that meet NASA's demands for human living in the deep universe," Dr. Venkateswaran concluded.

"The results may also have a significant impact on our understanding of other closed buildings on Earth such as clean rooms used in the pharmaceutical and medical industry."

Complete research results were published in the Microbioma magazine.

WHAT IS THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE POST?

The International Space Station (ISS) is a $ 100 billion worth of scientific and engineering lab that circles about 400 miles above Earth.

Since November 2000, the astronauts and cosmonauts have been constantly employed by rotating crews.

Research on ISS often requires one or more unusual conditions present in low Earth orbit, such as low gravity or oxygen.

ISS studies have explored human research, space science, life science, physics, astronomy and meteorology.

The International Space Station (ISS) is a $ 100 billion worth of scientific and engineering lab that circles about 400 miles above Earth.

The International Space Station (ISS) is a $ 100 billion worth of scientific and engineering lab that circles about 400 miles above Earth.

The US space agency, NASA, spends $ 3 billion a year on the space station program, which is the level of funding endorsed by Trump's administration and Congress.

The United States House of Commons, which oversees NAS, has begun to examine whether to extend the program after 2024.

Alternatively, money could be used to accelerate the planned human space initiatives on the Moon and Mars.


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