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29 Jul
NASA Measures Human Impact on Space Fungi NASA Measures Human Impact on Space Fungi

NASA Measures Human Impact on Space Fungi

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Whether we intend to or not, humans leave an impact on the areas we inhabit. This is even true in space, where the mere existence of astronauts can change the biological makeup of a planet. As NASA continues in its plans to send manned spacecraft to Mars, the agency is researching how human presence can impact outer space.

To conduct their research, the agency is recreating the environment seen on the International Space Station, which humans have occupied since 1998. For its most recent study, they looked at the affect only a few people living in an inflatable space would have. Even with four occupants, the species of fungi present in the habitat changed.

According to experts, humans carry microbes along with us wherever we go, including into space. The experiment put four people in a small habitat in North Dakota, which was equipped with a kitchen, lab, toilet, and bedroom. Over a 30-day period, fungus samples were collected from each room four times, on day zero, 13, 20, and 30.

At the end of the mission, some fungi had reduced in population, but other types had increased. The specific types of fungi that increased were from the genuses Epiccocum, Alternaria, Pleosporales, Davidiella and Cryptococcus. The results of the study were published in the journal Microbiome.

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Read 1394 times Last modified on Tuesday, 18 July 2017 06:04
Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and novelist whose work has appeared on NYPost.com, PSMag.com, the Intuit Small Business Blog, and many others. She is the Simon & Schuster author of 8 children's books, including the Piper Morgan chapter book series, 25 Roses, and 30 Days of No Gossip.

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