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NASA’s ‘Clean Rooms’ Are Not So Clean, No Thanks to Bacteria That Eat Cleaning Products

And they can contaminate other worlds when they hitch a ride to outer space.

At NASA, they have what they call ‘clean rooms,’ where they assemble their spacecrafts. These pristine chambers are religiously cleaned and scrubbed with alcohol-based solvents. Every matter must go through several filters to ensure the area is never contaminated; every person must be in the proper coveralls when entering the rooms – all these to prevent Earth microbes from reaching and contaminating other worlds during NASA explorations, as part of the international planetary protection treaty.

But even with NASA’s meticulous standards, it is impossible to completely sterilize the clean rooms. Bacteria can still thrive in their immaculate walls.

The tough Acinetobacter bacteria can be found in NASA’s clean rooms.

Source: Pexels

Somehow, this particular bacteria, usually found in soil and water, can withstand even the most rigorous cleaning and disinfecting processes. Scientists have found Acinetobacter strains, for example, on the surface of the Mars Odyssey orbiter, on the exterior of the International Space Station, and even in the station’s drinking water.

According to scientists from California State Polytechnic University at Pomona, these microbes survive because they can eat the cleaning products that are meant to kill them.

Source: Pexels

Scientist Rakesh Mogul was quoted as saying:

“You can clean the rooms out and sterilize them, but microbes are still there. To be a bit Jurassic Park about it: Life will find a way.”

The bacteria could grown on ethanol and use it as fuel. The ethanol is burned for energy, and the carbon is used by the bacteria to create its own DNA, proteins, and other essential molecules.

Mogul and his team also found that Acinetobacter could grown on isopropyl alcohol and the detergent Kleenol 30.

Source: Pixabay

They can also survive treatment with hydrogen peroxide, the chemical used in bleaches, detergents, and disinfectants. They can withstand radiation, high pressures, as well as high temperatures. According to Mogul, though, none of the Acinetobacter strains they studied showed the threat of causing any diseases in humans.

The results of Mogul’s team’s study means NASA has to further its efforts to cleanse its clean rooms. It has to ensure it is responsibly performing its role in upholding planetary protection during explorations.

Sci/Tech

Ancient 99-Million-Year-Old Frogs Look Just Like Modern-Day Toads

Frogs will always be frogs, whether they were born today or in the Cretaceous Period.

The world is filled with exciting new discoveries from ancient times. Scientists have just uncovered evidence that frogs roamed the Earth during the Cretaceous Period about 100 million years ago. Interestingly, these ancient toads seem to look just like their modern-day descendants.

A new report confirms that scientists have found four frog fossils in northern Myanmar. The tiny bodies were encased in amber and offer a clear glimpse at what tropical rainforests looked like in the Cretaceous Period. In any case, the discovery is groundbreaking since frogs rarely become fossils.

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Elon Musk’s Flamethrowers Get Misused On Social Media Despite Strict Terms & Conditions

What better way to start a particularly hot summer?

There is little doubt that Elon Musk's flamethrowers are the hottest new commodity right now. After all, the fiery device produced by The Boring Company have just been sold out. However, it looks like consumers have already started misusing the dangerous product despite its lengthy terms and conditions.

The Boring Company finally rolled out Not A Flamethrower at a celebrated pick up event held at the company's headquarters. People who had pre-ordered the gadgets were given a chance to sample the power of the flamethrower on unfortunate marshmallows. Although safety was reinforced during the event, things took a dangerous turn once everyone got home.

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NASA’s Curiosity Rover Finds Ancient Organics On Mars, Possible Life On Planet In The Past

The new discovery might confirm life thrived on the Red Planet billions of years ago.

Curiosity has made an exciting discovery on the surface of Mars. The rover has just found possible evidence of life on the planet billions of years ago. NASA might not quite ready to confirm that creatures once roamed the Red Planet. Nevertheless, the agency believes that the findings could mean positive things for future missions.

The NASA rover has found organic molecules in sedimentary rocks near the planet's surface. These molecules may contain hydroxen, carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen and are usually associated with life. However, their presence in the billion-year-old rocks does not confirm life on Mars just yet.

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