Bacteria in Space
December 16, 2019
Researchers at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and partners in Italy will soon launch two experiments into space, in order to examine the effect of zero gravity on different phenomena.
The experiments will be launched from French Guinea on a European Space Agency launch. As part of a collaboration between the Israeli Space Agency at the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Italian Space Agency, they will include four experiments conducted by Space Pharma, a company that leverages miniaturized microgravity lab technology in space to enable the development of new drugs.
Each of the experiments included one Israeli and one Italian researcher.
The first experiment, named SpaceLysis, will examine the behavior of anti-microbial molecules and their effect on bacteria. It was designed by Prof. Boaz Pokroy of the Technion’s Faculty of Materials Science and Engineering, and his partner Prof. Giuseppe Falini of the University of Bologna.
The second experiment, which will examine the speed of binding of blood proteins to chemical materials, was designed by researchers from the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine at the Technion and Tre University in Rome.
“On Earth, the interaction between bacteria and these substances depends on diffusion and convection, whereas in space, there will be zero convection, and so the interaction is expected to change significantly,” explained Prof. Pokroy, The researchers have already conducted the experiment on Earth, and now seek to study how zero gravity affects these interactions.
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