NASA Studies Fungi Composition Changes To Be Used To Explore Other Planets

By Carie P. | Jul 11, 2017 09:15 AM EDT

NASA is studying the human presence in closed places associated with changes in the composition in fungi since this will be beneficial in exploring other planets. The said endeavor was based on a study published in the journal Microbiome which dealt on mycobiome that develops on surfaces inside the habitat.

According to NASA, their study will use a simulated habitat which is intended for the human habitation of other planets in the future. With this, the organization will be suing the Inflatable Lunar/Mars Analog Habitat which is a special, simulated closed environment that imitates the situation which happens on the International Space Station.

It was also added that this research will be the first report on the mycobiome of a simulated habitat for the future human habitation of the other planets. PHYS ORG reported that NASA is trying to prove the relation between fungal diversity and the presence of humans.

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In the said mycobiome study, the researchers in the NASA found that some kinds of fungi which cause allergies and skin infections grow in number while humans were inside the ILMAH. Therefore, if the humans stay there for a long period of time, this might lead to decreased immune response making them more exposed to pathogens like fungi. This can really be stressful to humans.

It was also made known that fungi are not only detrimental to humans but they can also destroy the habitats themselves. This is the very reason why it I necessary to understand and describe the survival of fungi species in certain environments and habitats.

Therefore, in order to develop and come up with countermeasures to maintain and preserve habitats just like the ILMAH, it is of much importance to determine and find out how these fungal communities change with humans living in the habitat. Besides, this is also essential in order to develop ways to protect the health of humans who live in that habitat.

NASA claimed that in their study, the main purpose of the ILMAH was to know the psychological, physical, and behavioral changes in humans in confined habitat or environment. In the said research, three students were asked to stay in the ILMAH for 30 days while samples of fungi collected were also categorized.

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