NanoRacks-Riverside Christian High School-E. Coli Bacteria Growth in Microgravity (NanoRacks-RCHS-E. Coli Growth) - 11.22.16
Previous experiments have shown that some bacteria species grow faster and become more virulent in microgravity than they do on Earth, which could make it more difficult to treat infections on long-duration space missions. NanoRacks-Riverside Christian High School-E. Coli Bacteria Growth in Microgravity (NanoRacks-RCHS-E. Coli Growth) studies an altered form of Escherichia coli (E. coli), a common intestinal bacteria that can cause serious illness. Results determine whether E. coli has the same life cycle in microgravity as it does on Earth, which affects infection risks and treatment options. Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending Experiment Details
OpNom: NanoRacks Module-21 S/N 1002
Riverside Christian High School , Riverside Christian High School, Riverside, CA, United States
Tamerisa Dyer, B.S., Riverside Christian Academy, Riverside, CA, United States
Angela Mooney, B.S., Riverside Christian High School, Riverside, CA, United States
William LeFevre, B.S., Riverside Christian High School, Riverside, CA, United States
Riverside Christian High School, Riverside, CA, United States
Valley Christian High School , San Jose , CA, United States
NanoRacks LLC, Webster, TX, United States
Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
National Laboratory Education (NLE)
Earth Benefits, Scientific Discovery, Space Exploration
ISS Expedition Duration
March 2014 - September 2014
- NanoRacks-Riverside Christian High School-E. Coli Bacteria Growth in Microgravity (NanoRacks-RCHS-E. Coli Growth) studies the life and death of transformed bacteria.
- The benefit of studying the life and death of transformed bacteria comes from the increased use of biotechnology. Bacteria are used more often to produce useful products for human consumption or to do jobs such as decomposition for human benefit.
- In order to utilize the bacteria most effectively or protect from a possible severe contamination, it is important to accurately predict how these bacteria survive or thrive.
NanoRacks-Riverside Christian High School-E. Coli Bacteria Growth in Microgravity (NanoRacks-RCHS-E. Coli Growth) determines the life and death curve of transformed Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria in microgravity. Nutrient broth is stored in a small unpressurized sealed polyvinyl chloride (PVC) bag, and a miniature peristaltic pump (RP-Q1 from Tagasago Electric Japan) is used to deliver the nutrient to freeze dried E. coli bacteria located in small unpressurized sealed PVC bag that serves as the growth chamber. Once the pump finishes pumping the nutrient broth it is shut off. Once an hour white light emitting diodes are turned on to illuminate the growth chamber and photos are taken once an hour to record the bacteria growth. After an additional four days, the bacteria are assumed to be completed killed and the experiment is turned off.
Crew members on long-duration space missions might develop infections, and understanding the life and death cycle of bacteria is important for determining how to treat these illnesses. Results from this investigation improve scientists’ understanding of the E. coli life cycle in microgravity.
This investigation uses a modified form of bacteria, and results could lead to better design and production methods for genetically modified microbes. Bacteria can be altered to provide useful products for humans, or to decompose waste. In addition, students in grades 9 through 12 designed and built the investigation, promoting interest and experience in science, engineering and applied math.
Operational Requirements and Protocols
NanoRacks Module-21 is completely autonomous completely autonomous and only requires installation and removal.
Crew interaction with NanoRacks Module-21 is limited to transferring the NanoRacks locker Insert from the launch vehicle to the ISS, installation and activation of the NanoRacks Frames into the EXPRESS Rack Locker, cleaning of the air inlet filter (as necessary) and data retrieval (as needed) during the mission.
Decadal Survey Recommendations
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The NanoRacks-Riverside Christian High School-E. Coli Bacteria Growth in Microgravity (NanoRacks-RCHS-E. Coli Growth) investigation team. Image courtesy of Riverside Christian High School.
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