The world is a scary place. More people than ever before are diagnosed with anxiety, and it’s not hard to see why. For many of us, simply progressing through our routine on any given day is an intricate balancing act of wilful ignorance, muttered self-reassurances and a mild to moderate abuse of hand sanitiser.
So it is with great pain that I inform you that we must add another spectre to our list of Unrealised But Ever-Hovering Threats: mutant bacteria from space.
Apparently the inside of the International Space Station is absolutely lousy with bacteria – so much so that there are slimy mats of them forming on the interior surfaces.
And the news doesn’t get any better. According to a new study, bacteria grown in zero-gravity conditions tend to mutate, and not into flubber (which would be awesome, what the hell is science doing, where is my flubber).
Studying 1000 generations of E. coli bacteria (really, mates? You picked the shitting bug?), scientists found that the strains mutated at least 16 times. The upshot of those mutations: their growth rate tripled. Even better: being back in regular-G had exactly zero effect on that sped-up germ-growth.
University of Houston researcher George Fox told New Scientist:
“We are, in fact, seeing true genomic changes – permanent changes. Next we need to figure out exactly what those changes are doing.”
Hmmm okay I’m just going to go out on a limb here and say NO. STOP IT. BAD SCIENCE!!
We’ve already got antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea! That’s quite enough microscopic fuckery, thank you very much!
Source: Herald Sun.
Image: Star Trek.