Drug-resistant superbug sent to space for study

NASA is sending superbug bacteria into space to study why it proliferates in microgravity. Longer term, the space agency wants to keep astronauts healthy during long voyages to asteroids or Mars. The superbug, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or staph, was included in a cargo of nearly over 5,000 pounds of equipment, supplies and research material launched on SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Sunday from Florida.

Researchers want to understand why bacteria grows faster, mutates more readily, becomes more infectious, and resistant to antibiotics than on Earth. “We are excited to put MRSA, which is a superbug, on the International Space Station and investigate the effects of microgravity on the growth and mutation patterns of these bugs,” said Anita Goel, chairman and science director of Nanobiosym, which developed the experiment with the Center for Advancement of Science in Space, according to WYMT. READ MORE