MRSA in space

No, really — but not quite the way you think. The weekly geekfest that is Aviation Week and Space Technology reports that the payload of the space shuttle Atlantis includes a MRSA experiment. The goal is to investigate whether bacteria held in the microgravity of space become more virulent — this was done earlier with salmonella — and then to determine whether any new virulence markers suggest targets for a potential staph vaccine.

A vaccine of course, is the Holy Grail of MRSA research — and it has remained frustratingly out of reach. For a great review of past research and future challenges, see this review article from March.


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