Israeli scientific experiments to be performed in outer space

The initiative is part of a space mission that will be carried out by the European Space Agency, in cooperation with the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology, and the company Space Pharma.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
July 31, 2019 09:15
1 minute read.
The space mission will be carried out by the European Space Agency, in cooperation with the Israeli

The space mission will be carried out by the European Space Agency, in cooperation with the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology, and the company Space Pharma. (photo credit: COURTESY OF SPACEPHARMA)

Four Israeli scientific experiments involving bacteria will be launched into outer space in October, Ynet reported earlier this week.

The project aims to allow scientists to perform their experiments on the bacteria in the unique conditions of outer space.

The initiative is part of a space mission that will be carried out by the European Space Agency, in cooperation with the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology, and the company Space Pharma.

One of the studies selected will be carried out by a team of Israeli and Italian scientists and has the goal to test how bacteria react to antibiotics in the absence of gravity.  

"To understand the process by which bacteria acquire antibiotic resistance, we seek to understand which conditions affect it, and one of those conditions may be gravity. With the spread of microbial resistance on Earth as well, the whole field of biological research in space is still in its infancy. The ability of medical centers and research labs to send this kind of experiments to space is truly rare and unique,"  Professor Ohad Gal-Mor, head of Sheba Medical Center's Infectious Diseases Research Lab, told Ynet.

Gal-Mor also highlighted how understating more about antibiotic resistance is one of the most crucial challenges of contemporary medicine.

Two of the other experiments selected for the project will be run by researchers from the Technion of Haifa.

Of those, one will monitor the ability of enzymes to break up bacterial residues that cause diseases. Another will examine how albumin protein attaches to molecules in the blood, an activity relevant to the correct functionality of the immune system.

The fourth experiment will be performed by researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and will focus on the DNA molecules and on the correlation between their behavior and the aging of human cells. 


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