The International Space Station is super contagious and full of germs!

Scientists found alien microbes on the surface of ISS

The recent survey shows that International Space Station has a diverse collection of Bacteria despite being miles from the Earth, according to new research. The community of micro-organisms living on board the space lab is exceptionally like that in people’s homes, the analysis also found. According to the latest study in the journal PeerJ, the internal surfaces of the 17-year-old, 250-mile-high, airtight space station harbour at least 1,000 and maybe more than 4,000 microbe species, a verdict that is reassuring, according to co-author David Coil.

Variety is included with a healthy ecosystem, stated the University of California at Davis microbiologist. A mixed population of microscopic residents is probably a sign of a proper probe, he added. And as humanity considers even longer trials in space such as an 18-month voyage to Mars investigators must know who these microbes are.

The specimens for Coil’s paper were gathered in 2014 as part of the science program Project MERCCURI. In exchange, the UC Davis investigator who partnered on the project asked the ISS astronauts to sweep down the space station and return the specimens to Earth. It Appears like a fair trade. The samples were taken from 15 different sites on the station, involving the audio terminal unit microphone, air drains, the tab used to close the privacy panel in the crew sleep chamber. These locations broadly compare to places found in a terrestrial home.

The microbe samples were packed and flown to Earth, where the experts at UC Davis sequenced their genomes. The study unveiled no “Andromeda Strains” that frighten the astronauts’ well-being; the ISS was ruled by human-associated microbes, especially the kind that reside on the skin.

Microbiologist Jenna Lang, the study’s first author, said that honestly, I wasn’t surprised at all by the findings. Because all the devices that go into space are entirely sterilised, any germs that colonise the space station must hook a ride on an astronaut. Lang continued that I fully suspected the ISS surfaces of looking like human skin and upper airway, which is, for the most part, did.

The main difference was in the species’ relative abundance. For example, the ISS harbours more Staphylococcus than a typical home. But Lang advised that this study is based on a comparatively small number of specimens, all taken at a single point in time. When the team of the ISS shifts, it’s same as the station’s microbes will replace, too. It’s essential to keep labels on what germs are circulating up there, Coil said.

A harmful microbiome on the ISS could immediately lead to sick astronauts. He remarked that by the time the Russian space station Mir was decommissioned, it smelled of fumes from the black mould that increased behind panels and inside air conditioning devices. Some researchers even worried that Mir’s microbes might have mutated into a biohazard when the space station returned to Earth in 2001.

Coil said that now the questions are a little more nuanced. Microbiome science has developed quite a lot. Investigators want to know what appears to the right microbes in astronauts, including the stomach bacteria that aid in digestion, and how those critters will communicate with the microbiome of the space around them.

About the author

Saloni Sharma

Saloni Sharma is an environmental activist with broad, deep experience in print and online writing, publication and site management, news coverage, and editorial team management.

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