No, Bacteria Aren't Mutating into Superbugs on the International Space Station - Live Science Livescience.com - Wed 9 Jan 13:21 GMT
Bacteria on the International Space Station are evolving and changing in the strange orbital environment. But they don't seem to be any more dangerous to humans.
Bacteria on the International Space Station are evolving and changing in their strange orbital environment -- but according to a new study, they don't seem to be any more dangerous to humans.
"These are stressful, harsh conditions," leading researchers to wonder if space travel would increase the odds that bacteria would evolve into so-called superbugs to survive.
[Over Earth: Day & Night from ISS]
On Earth, the researchers said, bacteria routinely fall away from the human bodies they prefer to inhabit and undergo changes to adapt to nonliving surfaces.
But researchers were especially concerned that the close quarters of spacecraft, where humans and bacteria share the same air and small spaces for months on end, might produce dangerous changes.
It seems, however, that while the bacteria did change themselves to adapt to space, those changes didn't produce any abnormalities that would make them produce diseases that would be more infectious or difficult to treat.