A DNA sequencer has traveled to space, sent by NASA. It could tell us whether there is alien life out there, or not. The device was sent to the International Space Station in a Space X cargo ship. The sequencer was sent by NASA to help the crew to monitor their health.
This new type of sequencer, called „The biomolecule sequencer” was crafted in the UK by Oxford Nanopore Technologies. It’s purpose is to establish whether DNA sequencing can be done in microgravity. Furthermore, the device could find microbes and causes of illnesses.
The sequencer may help to detect life elsewhere than on Earth. NASA pointed ou that every commercial flight to the ISS is a great event. These flights are essential to supporting the overall mission.
The equipment will allow for new experiments to be tried out in space. An international docking adapter will also be tested on this occasion.
The sequencer is called miniON. It’s almost 10 cm long and weighs 120 grams. Most sequencers are the size of a microwave oven. The device will work as an experiment interface, for samples from space.
In the past, there were visible fungi growing on the station, and astronauts would like to know what kind of fungi it is. Whether it’s benign, or something of concern, microbiologists will be able to recommend how to treat the issue.
The gadget reveals the order of chemical building along a DNA strand. The strand has information that is normally passed on by heredity, from one generation to another.
The sequencer is used by more than 1,000 scientists and could help astronauts find life on other planets in real time. However, researchers say that future development is necessary for that kind of app to be a reality. The DNA sequencer will stay on board for future use. Until now, astronauts were supposed to send DNA samples on Earth for sequencing. The whole process used to take a couple of months and could alter the state of the sample.
Earlier this week, NASA created controversy when it cut out the transmission, while an unidentified object was heading towards the camera on ISS. Are you interested in the latest NASA developments? What’s your opinion on space exploration? Please leave a comment below!
Image Source – Wikipedia