NASA to sequence DNA in space for first time

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

Newly arrived space station astronaut Kate Rubins will attempt to complete the first full-blown DNA decoding, or “sequencing,” in orbit with a pocket-size device that should be delivered [late July].

“We’re really interested in how this works in microgravity. It’s never been done before,” she said in an interview with the Associated Press…four days after arriving at the International Space Station.

She said the benefits of DNA sequencing in space are huge. She noted it also could prove useful in remote locations on Earth.

Researchers will better understand bone loss and microbial changes in space…thanks to this new research.

“But it also actually has a benefit for the Earth-based research as well,” she said. “When we do things in a remote environment up here, we can understand how these technologies might work in remote places on Earth that don’t have access to good medical care.”

NASA is interested in another potential application: the detection of life. Officials acknowledge more development would be needed for that capability at Mars and elsewhere.

Read full, original post: First virus-hunter in space will test DNA-decoding device

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