Author Information

Jenifer SchumanFollow

Is this project an undergraduate, graduate, or faculty project?

Undergraduate

individual

Poster Session; 5-minute Oral Presentation; 10-minute Oral Presentation; 30 minute Workshop

Authors' Class Standing

Jenifer Schuman, Junior

Lead Presenter's Name

Jenifer Schuman

Faculty Mentor Name

Hugo Castillo

Abstract

The human body’s inability to perform optimally when exposed to space conditions presents immunological concerns to those engaging in space travel. A decreased immune system response, coupled with the regulation of growth that microbes exhibit in space, presents a relevant issue to the future of space travel. Thisexperiment aims to investigate the effects of microgravity and radiation in Low Earth Orbit on the growth patterns of bacteria using a CubeSat currently in development by an ERAU College of Engineering student team. In order to identify the optimal candidate for this experiment, a series of bacteria species will be suspended in a saline solution for a period of eighteen weeks to determine their ability to survive an extended non-growing state. Preliminary data shows that cell population size and growth dynamics exhibit an initial decrease in cell number and an extended duration of the lag phase. This effect, however, stabilized on week three, supporting the viability of E. coli as the model for our experiment.

Did this research project receive funding support (Spark or Ignite Grants) from the Office of Undergraduate Research?

No

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Bacteria in Space Research: Testing the Effect of an Extended Non-Growing State on the Growth Dynamics of Escherichia coli

The human body’s inability to perform optimally when exposed to space conditions presents immunological concerns to those engaging in space travel. A decreased immune system response, coupled with the regulation of growth that microbes exhibit in space, presents a relevant issue to the future of space travel. Thisexperiment aims to investigate the effects of microgravity and radiation in Low Earth Orbit on the growth patterns of bacteria using a CubeSat currently in development by an ERAU College of Engineering student team. In order to identify the optimal candidate for this experiment, a series of bacteria species will be suspended in a saline solution for a period of eighteen weeks to determine their ability to survive an extended non-growing state. Preliminary data shows that cell population size and growth dynamics exhibit an initial decrease in cell number and an extended duration of the lag phase. This effect, however, stabilized on week three, supporting the viability of E. coli as the model for our experiment.

 

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