Photo: Courtesy of NASA
 ON THE HORIZON: New technologies will protect the health of astronauts on long space flights.

Researchers at the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) are developing technologies to identify and monitor anticipated and unanticipated microorganisms in space--technologies, they suggest, that could also help to more efficiently diagnose medical conditions down here on Earth, as well as help detect biological hazards in this post-Sept. 11 world.1-3

George E. Fox, professor of biology and biochemistry, and Richard Willson, associate professor of chemical engineering and biochemistry, both at University of Houston, have been working together for nearly a decade on projects involving microbial detection and environmental monitoring. As part of the immunology, infection, and hematology team of NSBRI, a consortium of institutions researching health risks related to long-duration space flight, they have been studying techniques to detect, rapidly identify, and monitor bacteria and other microorganisms in...

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