NASA prepares to fight fungus in space and on other planets
Life in space can be difficult, what with lack of gravity, abundance of radiation and a number of other things that can kill or damage a person. Now, NASA is studying another rather surprising enemy for the health of astronauts: mushrooms.
A new study published Monday in the journal Microbiology shows that when humans are added to the type of closed habitats that could be used on the moon or other planets such as Mars, this can give a boost to the community known illegal transients to Mycobiome.
A team led by scientists at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory observed what happened when humans entered the Lunar / March analog inflatable habitat (ILMAH) to simulate the conditions of the International Space Station and the lunar hypothetical bases or from Mars.
“We have shown that the total diversity of mushrooms changed when humans were present,” co-author and NASA principal investigator Dr. Kasthuri Venkateswaran said in a statement.
The explosive woman aboard the International Space Station (images)
Some fungi seemed to thrive once humans have been added to ILMAH, including some that can colonize the body and cause allergies, asthma or infections, especially in people with impaired immune systems like astronauts.
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“Fungi are extremophiles who can survive harsh conditions and environments, such as deserts, caves or at sites of nuclear accidents, and are known to be difficult to eradicate from other environments including indoor and enclosed spaces”
Venkateswaran explained. “Mushrooms are not only potentially harmful to people, but can also damage habitats themselves.”
In other words, pay attention to the mushrooms, which are on NASA’s list of space enemies.
Venkateswaran hope to investigate mycobiome in the type of habitats used off the Earth can lead to the development of a procedure for cleaning and maintenance to help keep the mushrooms away.
First, we must continue to research, beginning with the study mycobiomes humans who actually lived in the house.