SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will be launched Saturday, carrying superbug that will be studied by the astronauts on the International Space Station. Before it creates any more intriguing ideas, this is not a sign of an upcoming apocalypse. In collaboration with NASA, Dr. Anita Goel hopes that by sending the MRSA bacteria to a zero-gravity environment, scientists can better understand how the superbugs mutate and becomes resistant to available antibiotics.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is resistant to the antibiotic methicillin and many others. This bacteria can cause various health problems such as skin and bloodstream infection, pneumonia and sepsis. Goel is a medical doctor and a physicist. She is the chairwoman and the CEO of Nanobiosym which seeks out breakthroughs and technologies that span and combine physics, biomedicine and nanotechnology.
According to The Week, Goel said that she is excited to launch with SpaceX and start the research of MRSA on the International Space Station. They will investigate the effects of microgravity on the growth and mutation patterns of these bugs. She also added that she has this hypothesis that microgravity may accelerate the mutation patterns. If the researchers would be successful to use microgravity to accelerate the superbug that would allow researchers to to observe previews of the mutation. Then scientists could create effective and efficient drugs on Earth.
According to the CNN, the International Space Station is an orbiting station where experiments are conducted every day. The zero-gravity has previously been host of bacteria researches. The ISS itself has a microbiome of bacteria based on the comings and goings of astronauts. Goel hopes that if her hypothesis could be successful we can be able to create preventive and treatment drugs before it even spreads. SpaceX Falcon 9 in collaboration with NASA is scheduled to launch Saturday in hope to discover how superbugs mutate and soon be able to create preventive or treatment to it.