Microbe DNA sequenced in space for the first time ever


In Outer Space, NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson became the first person ever to collect unknown organisms from the International Space Station and sequence their DNA entirely while in space. Using the ISS’s Microgravity Science Glovebox and a portable, real-time sequencing device known as MinION, she was able to analyze the mysterious microbes she collected from inside the space station, Staphylococcus hominis and Staphylococcus capitis. The research is part of the Genes in Space-3 mission which focuses on identifying DNA in microgravity environments.

According to the NASA statement to Astronomy, “The ability to identify microbes in space could aid in the ability to diagnose and treat astronaut ailments in real time, as well as [assist] in the identification of DNA-based life on other planets.”