‘Shape-Shifting’ Bacteria Spotted on International Space Station

Bacterial cells treated with a common antibiotic have been spotted changing shape to survive while aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

The way bacteria act in near-zero gravity environments could pose a serious problem for treating astronauts with infections.

The “clever shape-shifting” was detected in bacteria being experimented on in the near-weightlessness of space, and is believed to help the bacteria survive.

An experiment on the common E coli bacteria subjected it to different concentrations of the antibiotic gentamicin sulfate, a drug which kills the bug on Earth.

However, in comparison to a control group on Earth, the space bacteria showed a 13-fold increase in cell numbers and a 73% reduction in cell column size. (Read more from “‘Shape-Shifting’ Bacteria Spotted on International Space Station” HERE)

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