Navigation Links
NASA study will help stop stowaways to Mars
Date:9/2/2007

NASA clean rooms, where scientists and engineers assemble spacecraft, have joined hot springs, ice caves, and deep mines as unlikely places where scientists have discovered ultra-hardy organisms collectively known as extremophiles. Some species of bacteria uncovered in a recent NASA study have never been detected anywhere else.

According to Dr. Kasthuri Venkateswaran, who led the study conducted at NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, These findings will advance the search for life on Mars and other worlds both by sparking improved cleaning and sterilization methods and by preventing false-positive results in future experiments to detect extraterrestrial life.

NASA builds its spacecraft in rooms designed to minimize contamination by airborne particles because dust and its microbial passengers can foul instruments and invalidate experiments. If scientists someday find microbes on Mars, they will want to be sure they arent just hitchhikers from Earth.

Clean rooms used in the space program already undergo extensive cleaning and air filtering procedures, and the detection technology employed in this study will help NASA to develop and monitor improvements. Still, it is extremely difficult to eliminate all dust particles and microbes without damaging the electronic instruments the process is intended to protect.

Identifying and archiving clean-room microbes serves as an effective backup to the cleaning and sterilization efforts. Armed with a list of microbes that could possibly stow away on its spacecraft, NASA can disregard them if they turn up in future Martian samples.

As reported in FEMS Microbiology Ecology, a journal of the Federation of European Microbiological Societies, Venkateswarans team used a technology known as ribosomal RNA gene-sequence analysis to detect bacteria in clean rooms at Kennedy Space Center, Johnson Space Center, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This was the first time that this technology was applied to NASA clean rooms.

They found that both the total number of bacteria and the diversity of bacterial species were much higher than previously detected. This has implications not only for NASA and other space agencies, but also for hospital operating rooms and industries such as semiconductor manufacturing, where cleanliness and sterility are critical.

Clean rooms are considered extreme environments for microbes because water and nutrients are in extremely short supply. Nevertheless, some bacteria are able to survive on what little moisture the low-humidity air provides and on trace elements in the wall paint, residue of cleaning solvents, and in the spacecraft materials, themselves.


'/>"/>
Contact: Lucy Mansfield
lucy.mansfield@oxon.blackwellpublishing.com
44-186-547-6241
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. Antibodies for Studying NMDA Receptor Protein Expression and Synapse-Specific Immunolabeling
2. Optimizing Transfection Conditions for Studying Signal Transduction Pathways
3. Enzyme Immunoassay for Studying Intracellular Levels of cAMP
4. RT-PCR Primers for the Study of Apoptosis
5. A Comparison Study of Lipid Tranfection Reagents in A549, NIH 3T3 and COS-7 Cell Lines
6. New Reporter Plasmids for Studying Interferon-Stimulated Signal Transduction Pathways
7. New Fusion Trans-Activator Plasmids for Studying Signal Transduction Pathways
8. Medical College receives $377K to study brain disease
9. Kauffman study shows consistent entrepreneurial growth
10. Study affirms information technology-productivity link
11. Deltanoid Pharmaceuticals begins phase II osteoporosis study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/2/2016)... , ... December 02, 2016 ... ... a consortium of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies dedicated to collaboratively developing improved ... interested in supplying a vendor-supported, portable online UHPLC, with robust, probe-based sampling. ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... The immunohistochemistry (IHC) market is projected ... of 7.3% during the forecast period of 2016 to 2021 dominated ... accounted for the largest share of immunohistochemistry (IHC) market, by end ... , , ... market spread across 225 pages, profiling 10 companies and supported with ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... today announced the appointment of Joshua F. Coleman , ... Dr. Coleman will oversee clinical content development and curation of ... software suite empowers molecular pathologists with a seamless workflow for ... from quality control through reporting. ... , , ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... RATON, Fla. , Nov. 30, 2016 ... biotherapeutic products, is pleased to announce the addition of ... Avenue Kearney, Nebraska . The 15,200 ... business on November 29th, 2016 and brings the total ... Ileana Carlisle , BPC,s Chief Executive ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:11/21/2016)... , Nov. 21, 2016   Neurotechnology ... object recognition technologies, today announced that the MegaMatcher ... cards was submitted for the NIST Minutiae ... passed all the mandatory steps of the evaluation ... is a continuing test of fingerprint templates used ...
(Date:11/15/2016)... Md. , Nov. 15, 2016  Synthetic ... company developing therapeutics focused on the gut microbiome, ... offering of 25,000,000 shares of its common stock ... common stock at a price to the public ... proceeds to Synthetic Biologics from the offering, excluding ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016  The American College of Medical ... Show Executive Magazine as one of the fastest-growing trade ... 25-27 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas ... highest percentage of growth in each of the following categories: ... companies and number of attendees. The 2015 ACMG Annual Meeting ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):