Researchers developed spacesuits for microbes

Posted on:03 Oct 2018 13:03:54
Researchers developed spacesuits for microbes
03 October 2018 Current Affairs:

Researchers from the University of California (UC) Berkeley developed spacesuits, a patchwork of mesh-like pieces called a Metal-Organic Framework (MOF), for bacteria which might allow the microbes to survive space environments that would otherwise kill them. The protective suits pair up with a living bacteria with light-absorbing semiconductors in order to capture carbon dioxide and convert it into chemicals that can be used by industry or, someday, in space colonies.

The system mimics the photosynthesis process in plants. The hybrid system captures CO2 and light to make a variety of carbon compounds, depending on the type of bacteria. The bacteria used in the experiment are anaerobic, which means they can live in environments without oxygen. 

The MOF suit is impermeable to oxygen and reactive oxygen molecules, like peroxide, that shortens bacteria’s lifespan. With the suit, the bacteria live five times longer at normal oxygen concentrations, 21% by volume, than without the suits.


Researchers from the University of California (UC) Berkeley developed spacesuits, a patchwork of mesh-like pieces called a Metal-Organic Framework (MOF), for bacteria which might allow the microbes to survive space environments that would otherwise kill them. The protective suits pair up with a living bacteria with light-absorbing semiconductors in order to capture carbon dioxide and convert it into chemicals that can be used by industry or, someday, in space colonies.

The system mimics the photosynthesis process in plants. The hybrid system captures CO2 and light to make a variety of carbon compounds, depending on the type of bacteria. The bacteria used in the experiment are anaerobic, which means they can live in environments without oxygen. 

The MOF suit is impermeable to oxygen and reactive oxygen molecules, like peroxide, that shortens bacteria’s lifespan. With the suit, the bacteria live five times longer at normal oxygen concentrations, 21% by volume, than without the suits.


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