Bangalore: In its first set of biological experiments, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will send bacteria cells into space — and bring them back — in the second Space Capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE-2) scheduled for launch this year-end.
Two life science experiments, using E.coli and photosynthetic bacteria, will help us understand cell division, genomics (genetic changes) and proteomics (changes in proteins) in microgravity conditions, said Kamanio Chattopadhyay, national coordinator of the Indian Microgravity Programme, who is coordinating scientific experiments for the mission.
In the first experiment, an E.coli cell would be grown in a bio-reactor and brought back to the earth to carry out genomic studies.
“When the experiment is recovered, we will explore why microgravity alters the growth of cells.” The experiment could be seen as a prelude to ISRO’s manned space mission slated for 2015, he said.
“We know that astronauts experience physiological changes when they go into space, the most common being bone loss. NASA [National Aeronautics and Space Administration] has done experiments to prove that microgravity impacts genes. We need to understand this phenomenon better.”
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