‘Spacesuits’ may protect microbes in space

The suits prolong bacteria’s life
Scientists have developed “spacesuits” for bacteria that may allow the microbes to survive space environments that would otherwise kill them.
The protective suits pair live bacteria with light-absorbing semiconductors in order to capture carbon dioxide and convert it into chemicals that can be used by industry or, someday, in space colonies. The system, developed by researchers at the University of California (UC) Berkeley, mimics photosynthesis in plants.
The hybrid system captures CO2 and light to make a variety of carbon compounds, depending on the type of bacteria.
The bacteria used in the experiment are anaerobic, which means they can live in environments without oxygen. The suit — a patchwork of mesh-like pieces called a metal-organic framework — is impermeable to oxygen and reactive oxygen molecules, like peroxide, that shorten bacteria’s lifespan.
With the MOF suits, the bacteria lives five times longer at normal oxygen concentrations — 21% by volume — than without the suits.
Source  :  https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-life/spacesuits-may-protect-microbes-in-space/article25107138.ece

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