Bacteria in space become more dangerous

Bacteria behave much more aggressively in weightlessness and actively multiply in space due to violations in the transportation of substances within their cells that cause them to constantly consider yourself hungry.

Russian and American scientists have been examining how life in space affects human health and the immune system of humans and animals. For example, last year they found out why many astronauts complain of visual problems in space, and why the Apollo astronauts occasionally fell and lost balance on the moon.

Luis Zea, University of Colorado at boulder (USA) and his colleagues have uncovered one of the strange effects of weightlessness on living organisms, increasing the aggressiveness of the bacteria, by studying how the various combinations of genes and proteins in normal E. coli Escherichia coli when injected into the space.

Many or even almost all changes in the cells, as suggested by scientists, occur for the reason that in space no gravity, which directs and accelerates many processes of metabolism in the bacteria in our body.

In microgravity, nutrient molecules, proteins and other substances can move in cells only or with the active molecular motors inside them, or as the result of Brownian motion of molecules. Therefore, many cellular metabolic processes may be slowed down in space and cause several disorders in the life of a microbe.

Zea and colleagues tested this idea by growing a few colonies of E. coli and sending them to the ISS in December 2014. There for the growth of microbes was observed by the astronaut Mike Hopkins, regularly collecting samples of bacteria and zamorajivanie them to return to Earth. All of the bacteria returned to Earth in may and in October 2015 on Board the cargo ships company SpaceX.

As expected, scientists, bacteria, living on Board the ISS, multiply faster than their terrestrial relatives, and better cope with the ingress of the antibiotic gentamicin, which Hopkins was administered in different doses in some cups with E. coli on behalf of scientists.

The reason for this, as shown by genetic analysis of returned samples to Earth was the fact that the work of eighty of the genes in the DNA of Escherichia coli is markedly increased in contact in space, and in most cases it has grown to more than 10 times.

Increased activity of two gene families – thi and hde said that the cells for some reason began to synthesize certain amino acids unusual ways that would normally be included only when the microbe is not enough nutrients, or it is in a too acidic environment and also experiencing other types of stress. In addition, increases the activity of genes of the mal family, is responsible for the transport of sugars inside the cells.

All of these things, as scientists believe, indicates that the cells of microbes find myself constantly starving in space and actively trying to find additional sources of nutrients and energy, including those in the nutrient medium, in principle, was not. In turn, the inclusion of the transport genes mal says that it was to blame the lack of gravity, impede the distribution of nutrients in the cytoplasm of the microbe.

Increased aggressiveness of the bacteria, apparently, have been linked to the stress reaction and the fact that in such conditions, Escherichia coli produces many molecules of acetic acid and speeds up your metabolism, trying to survive in conditions of food crisis. Further observation of the behavior of bacteria on the ISS, as scientists hope, will help to understand how to normalize their work and make them less dangerous to humans.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x