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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.


Groundbreaking Study Can Help Many Women with Breast Cancer Skip Chemotherapy

This new finding is expected to make a radical change in cancer treatments.

According to a new major international study, women with early-stage breast cancer who would receive chemotherapy under current standards do not actually need it. The study, titled Adjuvant Chemotherapy Guided by a 21-Gene Expression Assay in Breast Cancer and published by The New England Journal of Medicine, is expected to make a significant impact in cancer treatments.

The study found that gene tests on tumor samples can identify breast cancer patients who do not need to undergo chemotherapy. Instead, they can take a drug called tamoxifen that blocks the hormone estrogen or stops the body from making it, and undergo endocrine therapy. The findings apply to an estimated 60,000 women a year in the United States alone.

With this discovery, women with breast cancer who will not benefit from chemotherapy can skip the unpleasant process.

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USA Can’t Defend Itself Against This NEW Weapon, Russia Claims

The hypersonic weapon may be ready for deployment by 2020.

As if the world didn’t have enough scary weapons to worry about, recent reports tell us that Russia is boasting a new “hypersonic” one that “skips along the upper atmosphere to deliver a potentially nuclear payload,” wrote IFLScience.

Apparently, the said hypersonic glide vehicle is called the Avangard. The new weapon has the capabilities of traveling at 5,000 kilomoters per hour and it has already been tested thrice, with two of those tests considered successful. Another test - a fourth one - has been scheduled for summer.

Russia’s Avangard is categorized as a “hypersonic weapon” because it can travel 5 times faster than the speed of sound.

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World’s Largest Amphibious Aircraft To Arrive By 2022, Says Chinese Company

The AG600 is almost as big as a Boeing 737!

It looks like the world can expect to see the biggest amphibious aircraft ever - at least by 2022, according to a China-based plane manufacturer.

Online reports tell us that the AG600 will have an impressive wingspan of 127 feet (39 meters) and it has been designed mainly for marine rescue and for responding to forest fire.

The AG600 will be the world’s largest amphibious aircraft – and it’s currently a work in progress.

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