Bacterial spores exhibit unusual resistance to UV rays
Categorie(s) : News, Research
Published : 30 November 2014
The results of a team of INAC researchers’ DNA analyses of bacterial spores that spent 22 months on the walls of the International Space Station have been published in Astrobiology. They found that the number of damaged bases increased on par with exposure to UV rays up to a certain threshold at which the number of damaged bases actually decreased as UV exposure continued to increase. Additional research on the ground will be carried out with scientists from Germany to further explore the spores’ surprising UV resistance.
The research was part of the EU Expose project. The researchers from INAC, who study UV damage to DNA, posit that the UV-resistant spores are a dormant form of bacteria of the utmost scientific importance. In extreme conditions, the spores can shut down all metabolic activity for hundreds of years. And they are also highly resistant to radiation.