Pp. 291-303 (13)
Dirk C. Gibson
Microbes, like bacteria and microorganisms, are very small but potentially
very powerful. Microbes from the Earth are altered in the space environment and
become much more virulent and dangerous. It is possible for space destinations of
humans to be contaminated by microbes from the Earth, just as humans may bring
space microbes back to the Earth. Microbes change rapidly, and the cause of the
changes remains unknown. Clean rooms are thought to be the answer to combating
microbes but in fact that are not always entirely clean, and microbes are very adept at
escaping detection and destruction. Earth-based simulations of microgravity conditions
were shown to be suboptimal, and instead studies on worms in space are preferred.
Research on space microbes is expected to have terrestrial applications such as
enhanced hospital infection prevention. Solutions to the problem of microbes in space
Caenorhabditis elegans, CETEX, COSPAR, DNA-array chips,
ethylene oxide, gene, genome, International Council of Scientific Unions, Institute
of Clinical Research, methanosarcina, methyl chloride, microbe, NASA Space
Sciences Group, Permian Era, pseudomonas aerugonisa, resequencing,
ribosomal-DNA, salmonella, Simon Fraser University, University of Nottingham.
The University of New Mexico USA.