Friday, August 26, 2011

The ISS Bug Hunt

Click the above arrow to watch a 6½ minute Astrogenetix video about biomedical research on the International Space Station.

I'm often asked by Space Coast visitors why we conduct research on the International Space Station. Wouldn't it be cheaper to do the research on Earth?

I explain that the ISS is unique because it exists in microgravity. Any time an experiment is performed, we add, alter or delete one basic element of the test subject to see what happens. On the ISS, gravity is removed.

Astrogenetix is one of the companies performing biomedical research on the ISS. They've already used the space station to develop a possible vaccine to prevent salmonella, and now the ISS is being used to find a way to prevent MRSA, one of the more virulent forms of staph infections.

The above 6½ minute Astrogenetix video is an excellent explanation of why we use the ISS for biomedical research — and why it's worth preserving the ISS as a research platform for future generations.

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