GALACTIC... E. coli?

NASA researchers are sending E. coli to space to better understand this bacteria and its ability to build immunity against several antibiotics.

On November 14, 2017 NASA sent the Cygnus resupply ship to the International Space Station. Among 7,400 pounds of supplies and research was some of the infamous bacteria, E. coli. Certain types of E. coli are responsible for urinary tract infections, cause diarrhea, and even kidney damage. It's also one of the most antibiotic resistant bacteria because of its ability to transform its genes. 

Using the E. coli AntiMicrobial Satellite (EcAMSat) NASA wants to see if the lack of gravity in space affects the bacteria's ability to fight against antibiotics. This research could help scientists understand more about the bacteria, its weaknesses and how to combat it not only on Earth, but also for astronauts in space. The human body's immune system is weakened while in space, and more susceptible to the effects of bacteria like E. coli.

Credit: NASA. Photo of the EcAMSat.

Using the E. coli AntiMicrobial Satellite (EcAMSat) NASA wants to see if the lack of gravity in space affects the bacteria's ability to fight against antibiotics. This research could help scientists understand more about the bacteria, its weaknesses and how to combat it not only on Earth, but also for astronauts in space. The human body's immune system is weakened while in space, and more susceptible to the effects of bacteria like E. coli.

Specifics on the experiment can be found here. The EcAMSat is able to store over 150 hours of data. But the experiment will likely take only a few weeks.