NASA and SpaceX want to accelerate the evolutionary process of MRSA to predict how it will act on Earth once the right «triggers» appeared.
(Photo : Brent Stirton/Getty Images)
Recent news that NASA and SpaceX are planning to send a superbug in space appears to be a very bad. After all, what if this is just a ruse to «weaponise» the bacteria for a new age of biological warfare?
However, it’s more than that, as SpaceX revealed more about the true nature of the operation and the bacteria in question.
Science Alert explained that the superbug, MRSA, is a lethal superbacteria that kills more people than HIV/AIDs, homicide, emphysema and Parkinson’s disease. MRSA is antibiotic-resistant, which makes it hard to kill.
NASA and SpaceX want to accelerate the evolutionary process of the superbug to predict how it will act on Earth once the right «triggers» appeared.
According to the NASA-funded study, the Falcon 9 rocket of SpaceX will be launching the MRSA into orbit. The good folks at the US National Laboratory on the International Space Station (ISS) will be responsible for its cultivation.
In a report from Yahoo! News, Anita Goel, the CEO of Nanobiosym, will be helping in the study as well. Nanobiosym developed the Gene-RADAR back in 2015, a cheap «mobile scanner» that diagnoses «any» disease which will be used in the ISS to evaluate the growth of the MRSA.
In turn, Goel and the company will develop models on how to respond to the superbug once it evolves the same way on Earth. This means scientists and medical practitioners have a few years’ head-start in combating the virus.
However, it was emphasized that since the MRSA has just been launched a few days back, it is impossible to see how it evolves in microgravity.