Killer bacteria from outer space

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As if cosmic rays and hard vacuum didn’t make space dangerous enough, astronauts might have to contend with an unexpected threat: bacteria. Mice exposed to a strain of Salmonella typhimurium that spent 12 days in orbit on a 2006 shuttle flight were nearly three times as likely to die from the stomach bug than rodents infected with its earthbound ilk, a new study finds. Seems the microbes began to weave themselves into a resilient biofilm, possibly because the microgravity stilled the flow of the fluid bathing them, a study author told the Associated Press.

Scientific American