We’re sending superbugs into space

Can microgravity help us fight superbugs?

IT SOUNDS like the plot of a bad 90s sci-fi film, but in a few days we’re about to send a batch of drug-resistant superbugs into space.

Although it has all the makings of a galactic version of Snakes on a Plane, NASA researchers hope the celestial conditions will give them some insight into how best to fight the superbug.

The lethal pathogen known as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) will be kept on the international space station where scientists believe microgravity could produce an acceleration in mutation.

The bacterium causes infections in different parts of the body and can be frustrating in hospitals because it’s resistant to some commonly used antibiotics.

This latest experiment is all about studying the impact of near-zero gravity on gene expression and mutation patterns.

Effectively, by speeding the process up we will be able to get a sneak peak at the future mutations of the virus that have not yet occurred on Eart…

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