A new study shows that dangerous dust particles have been found on the ISS. Even though the Space Station orbits the Earth at 248 miles, apparently it is still filled with infectious germs. Astronauts which are aboard the station might have to start cleaning up if they don’t want to end up with infections or skin problems.
Even though most of these pathogens are harmless on the surface of Earth, it seems that they are doing very well in space. The station has proven to be a perfect place for them to thrive and grow which could prove to be harmful to the astronauts if left unchecked.
After using some very advanced pieces of equipment to analyze dust particles from the ISS scientists got some new information about the types of bacteria that are present inside of the station. These findings are going to help NASA deal with this problem and monitor how clean the ISS is.
Despite their warnings, scientists have not been able to prove that the bacteria that they found can actually lead to health problems. The bacteria that was present everywhere inside the station is called Actinobacteria. This type of bacteria is mainly associated with human skin which would explain how it got there in the first place.
Two pathogens which could be more dangerous if left unattended were also found. The research did not study how well these pathogens are able to spread inside of closed environments or if they can actually infect the astronauts.
The researchers took the samples from the ISS and checked for microorganisms inside of them. They then put dye on certain cells in order to find out if they were still alive or dead. By doing this they could correctly assess the size and the diversity of these bacterial and fungal samples.
A microbiologist working on this study said that by doing this they are now better prepared to handle any issues that might arise in the health of the astronauts. They are also worried that certain bacteria could over time also damage equipment located inside of the space station. While an astronaut getting a rash or a cold is not a huge problem, malfunctioning equipment could prove deadly if left unchecked.
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