In NASA simulation, people tote hardy, allergy-inducing molds to Mars

In NASA simulation, people tote hardy, allergy-inducing molds to Mars

For many terrestrial terrains, our planet is filled with pollen, spores and toxins in the air overcrowding the schnozes and turn respiratory signs. Unfortunately, space rock jumping can not help, a new NASA study suggests.

In a 30-day simulation on another planet, NASA researchers found that the fungi were following the artificial astronauts and established their own colonies. Many of these small space explorers excel at surviving in extremely difficult conditions, such as saline soils and high altitude acids of the Indian Himalayas or radioactive remains of Chernobyl.

And several fungi that survived the world in simulation are associated with allergies and asthma inside, researchers report this week in the journal Microbiology.

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“The statement” where humans go, the microbes in the car with them “is true for mushrooms,” said Kasthuri Venkateswaran, lead author on Ars. He works at the Planetary Biotechnology and Protection Group at NASA’s Propulsion Laboratory.

“At present, most of our studies have been conducted to determine the dynamic changes in bacteria, not fungi,” he says. “This is the first study that examined the mushroom changes in a confined environment for at least 30 days of human presence in isolation using molecular methods.”

The NASA simulation is the first step towards understanding what may be worlds fungi – mycobiomes – our future space colonies. But so far, they seem to argue mycobiomes monitoring in the future. In addition to causing respiratory problems and allergies, fungi can cause infections and accelerate deterioration of materials.

Microbial migrants

For the essay, Venkateswaran and his colleagues had three students spend 30 days in the March lunar / analog 12-meter inflatable habitat 10 meters by 2.5 meters or ILMAH. During the test, the ILMAH was a closed system with little outlet or inlet past the air and samples (through an airlock).

Four times in the past 30 days, habitat students cleaned and cleaned eight locations at ILMAH, on days 0, 13, 20 and 30. On the outside, researchers collected swabs and attempted to grow and sequence genetic material from Swabs of fungi. In the end, 117 fungal isolates were grown and sequences were obtained from 113 of them.

Through the time points, researchers found that the total amount of mushrooms collected decreased, but the diversity – the number of different types – has increased. Fungal levels may have increased before humans did not move and were then crushed or crushed by humans during the mushrooms.

Over time, species of the genera Epiccocum, Alternaria, Pleosporales, Davidiella and Cryptococcus increased. Epiccocum and Alternaria, part of the family Pleosporaceae, were also the most abundant.

These are common home molds that can colonize the human body and produce toxins, volatile organic compounds and enzymes that can cause respiratory irritation.

The researchers also found a small increase in members of the family Cladosporium davidiellaceae Aurobasidium and in the family of Dothioraceae, some of which can survive in extreme conditions, such as the Antarctic ice. These fungi can feel right at home on any new planet they are.

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