Astroplastic: Making tools from human feces could aid space travel


A University of Calgary team has flushed the competition with a project that sets out to convert astronaut poop into handy tools, while also cutting down on flying bags of feces masquerading as shooting stars.

Their winning project was called Astroplastic: From Colon to Colony. “There’s a huge issue with transporting materials to Mars. How do you account for everything astronauts might need over three years? Waste Screen Shot at PMmanagement is another huge issue and we thought maybe we will address both of those,” [researcher Alina] Kunitskaya told The Homestretch.

“We modified the DNA of an E. coli bacteria so that it would take acids out of the human poop and actually build a plastic out of it and then spit that plastic out so that we can use it to make tools.” The plastic is used by a 3D printer to create tools such as a wrench or screwdriver. They didn’t actually use human feces but in the process learned that NASA has an official recipe for fake poop, which includes yeast, cellulose, peanut oil and miso paste.

Kunitskaya says if they can swap fake poop for real poop, it could save valuable room on the spacecraft and reduce the need to dispose of solid waste, which is currently just tossed out.

Read full, original post: Tools made of astronaut poop could solve space problems, as U of C project flushes competition in Boston

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend