Sunday, September 30, 2007

Germs In Space

The China story is still under construction, or rather re-construction. The copyedited ms. for DOGS was fine, and I'm grateful that the copyeditor caught so many small errors (plus teaching me to spell "anymore"). And scientists have sent germs to space and made them more powerful than they were before.
In September, 2006, salmonella went up on the shuttle. When it came back down again, 167 of its genes had mutated, presumably due to cosmic radiation. Then the salmonella was put in mouse food and fed to mice at Arizona State University's Center for Infectious Disease and Vaccinology. Mice fed the space-strengthened salmonella died at three times the rate of mice given normal salmonella, and it took less of the microorganism to do it.
This is fascinating to me. I don't yet see how to use it in a story, but the news article grabbed hold of my imagination, hollowed out a little studio apartment for itself, and has taken up abode. There is, or will be eventually, something breeding there.
I just hope nobody sends Ebola upstairs.

1 comment:

Elver said...

It's not just space that has cool evolution-quickening tricks up its sleeve. Same thing is happening in the Chernobyl reactor.

Btw, I'm reading Beginnings, Middles & Ends right now and loving it. Thanks!