Unknown microbes identified in space.

Why is it in news?

Astronauts at the International Science Centre (ISS) have identified microbes in space for the first time without having to send them back to Earth for tests.


  • Identifying microbes involves isolating the DNA of samples, and then amplifying or making many copies of that DNA that can be sequenced, or identified.
  • The investigation had two parts: the collection of microbial samples and amplification by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), then sequencing and identification of microbes.
  • The MinION device was used to sequence the amplified DNA.


  • It is an important breakthrough in the field of Space Microbiology.
  • It could help in diagnosing astronauts of ailments and effective treatment could be provided to them pn time without wasting precious time.
  • It could also benefit other experiments aboard the ISS.


Source: The Hindu

Posted by Jawwad Kazi on 2nd Jan 2018