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Thursday, 27 October 2016

A Pathogenic Fungus grown in Space

Growing fungus outside Earth's Atmosphere. Image: Pixabay

Now escaping earth’s atmosphere has led our research advancement more clear to cross most boundaries. But this time it is not Astronauts but microbes visiting space. A new study published in mSphere provided evidence that Aspergillus fumigatus which is a threat to humans can grow and behave similarly on International Space Station compared to Earth. The research is the next step ahead about life in space.
In one of the mission of Microbial Observatory Experiments on International Space Station is to examine fungal traits and their isolates to have a better understanding about fungal adaptation to microgravity. In this new study, led by Benjamin Knox, a graduate Microbiology student from University of Wisconsin-Madison, scientists compared two isolates of the fungi that were isolated from International Space Station to reference isolates from Earth.
The in vivo and in vitro genetic analysis revealed no such genetic differences among the isolates, and even they exhibited normal in vitro growth and chemical stress tolerance. The strains in space were slightly more lethal in vertebrate models.
“While we observed virulence differences, we speculate that it is completely within the variation that one would observe with terrestrial isolates,” said Mr. Knox to American Society of Microbiology. “There is an emerging body of literature showing a terrific phenotypic variation in A. fumigatus.”
Source:  ASM


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