Being able to identify microbes in real time aboard the International Space Station, without having to send them back to Earth for identification first, would be revolutionary for the world of microbiology and space exploration, and the Genes in Space-3 team turned that possibility into a reality this year when it completed the first-ever sample-to-sequence process entirely aboard the space station. The goal of the Genes in Space 3 mission was to enable this sample-to-sequence process by making use of previously space-tested molecular biology tools; the miniPCR thermocycler for DNA amplification by PCR and the MinION device for DNA sequencing.
This advance could aid in the ability to diagnose and treat astronaut ailments in real time, as well as assisting in the identification of DNA-based life on other planets. It could also benefit other experiments aboard the orbiting laboratory.
Congratulations to our collaborators at NASA’s Johnson Space Center led by Dr. Sarah Wallace, NASA microbiologist and Genes in Space-3 principal investigator.
Read the complete story on the NASA website.
Video and photo: NASA. HD download here.