Tuesday, January 18, 2022

IISC, ISRO develop device for biological experiments in space

 Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science and Indian Space Research Organisation in Bengaluru have jointly developed a modular, self-contained device to cultivate microorganisms, which could enable scientists to carry out biological experiments in outer space.  The research study has been published in Acta Astronautica. The device developed can be used to activate and track the growth of a bacterium called Sporosarcina pasteurii over several days, with minimal human involvement.

 

The device developed by the IISc and ISRO team uses an LED and photodiode sensor combination to track bacterial growth by measuring the optical density or scattering of light, similar to spectrophotometers used in the lab. It also has separate compartments for different experiments. Observing microbes in extreme environments could provide valuable insights for human space missions such as Gaganyaan, India’s first manned mission to outer space, set for launch in 2022.

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