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News Picks : Dust poses potential health problems on space station

By: Physics Today
Tue Oct 27 15:25:00 UTC 2015
Science: Microorganisms associated with human skin pose a potential problem on board the International Space Station (ISS), according to a recent study published in Microbiome. Despite the fact that all payloads pass through clean rooms, which have air-filtration systems and are scrubbed with disinfectants, the ISS ends up filled with bacteria because of its human astronauts, who shed skin cells, comb their hair, and so forth. Because of the types of bacteria found in the ISS and the fact that astronauts can have compromised immune systems, any pathogens that turn up there could pose a risk. Being a closed system, the ISS provides a unique opportunity to study how dust and the microbes that are found in dust affect human health.

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