Being up in the space has fascinated us all for years. But, that is an old story now. Scientists are now just about floating in the space in their not so fancy space suits. To add some excitement in their monotonous lives, they have devised a gene sequencing device that can actually probe into microbes present in the space. Sounds like science fiction, only that it is no more science fiction, it is what is happening.
A trained microbiologist Kate Rubin will use a pocket-sized DNA sequencer named as Oxford Nanopore’s MinION sequencer aboard the International Space Station. She is scheduled for a liftoff on Monday.
The team of scientists behind this study is determined to know how microbes in the space are different from those in Earth. Trying to unravel the mysteries of the outer world, they intend to get results from the test in 24 to 48 hours. Getting results in real-time is what sets this device apart from other sequencers. This portable devise will detect microbes in the drinking water systems used by the astronauts to ensure no intruding strains are making them ill. Any genetic mutations in the astronauts, viral or bacterial infections will be readily detected by this magical portable device.
The possibilities this device could reach sound too good to be true. But, we hope that this it achieves what it aims to get.