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64 comments

eye lub j00 4ll (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7598700)

this fp goes out to hemos! hi hemos!

This isnt the smartest question ever posed... (4, Interesting)

hookedup (630460) | more than 10 years ago | (#7598784)


Would it's ability to be more virulent possibly come from it's relative ease of travel with no gravity? Like somehow gravity 'slows' the virus down when it's on the planet or something...ok...this is where i trail off...

Go gentle on me.

Re:This isnt the smartest question ever posed... (2, Interesting)

Oddly_Drac (625066) | more than 10 years ago | (#7600136)

"ok...this is where i trail off..."

Relax, you still got insightful.

"it's relative ease of travel with no gravity"

Or bifurcation in three dimensions being a darn sight easier than in two dimensions and lacking any downward pressure on the cytoplasm meaning that a simple organism can redirect resources to it's primary function, reproduction...

Empiricism gets really silly when they start going for the showy experiments. For example, is this limited to Salmonella, or do all bacteria show the same increase in virulence?

Re:This isnt the smartest question ever posed... (2, Interesting)

supertsaar (540181) | more than 10 years ago | (#7602656)

Hmmm. I think these really-really small bacteria suspended in a liqiud medium don't care too much about the gravity. You know, they are so small the impact of individual molecules makes them shake. (see Brownian movement [bartleby.com] Yet we see these effects, apparantly....(I'd really like to see these effects being reproduced by another group) I don't think its that simple somehow....

Re:This isnt the smartest question ever posed... (1)

srn_test (27835) | more than 10 years ago | (#7603894)

Well, it'd be easier to take this comment seriously if:

a) It were a virus; it's a bacteria. Virus don't move about by themselves.

b) Gravity was thought to have much effect on things this small in a liquid medium - they are neutrally boyant and really, really light.

c) You could spell "its".

Volunteers needed? (3, Funny)

flagweb (311539) | more than 10 years ago | (#7598823)

May I be the first to volunteer to test the Brewers Yeast in space. Preferably in its fermented liquid state. I am especially interested if the space trip is free (as in Beer).

Just don't overdo it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7600521)

Sure, thanks to microgravity you can now brew a new batch of beer every 6 hours. But be aware that your quality of life will take a huge nosedive if you drink it at that rate...

I'm sure we can't fully appreciate what blowing chunks in zero-gravity would be like, but suffice it to say it would be horrific, and you'd probably *never* be able to properly clean it up.

Re:Just don't overdo it (1)

stfvon007 (632997) | more than 10 years ago | (#7602556)

Actually many astronaughts get "space sickness" (related to motion sickness) and some end up blowing chunks in space. (seems to affect about 1/2 of them) They vomit into bags to keep it from going all over.

uGuBrewSky (1)

Libertarian_Geek (691416) | more than 10 years ago | (#7601214)

mmmm MicroGravity MicroBrew. Guess they'll have to skip the pretzels though and eat tortillas instead.

Here's the article text for slow connections (0, Redundant)

scumbucket (680352) | more than 10 years ago | (#7598833)

Life is a bit different in space, even for microbes. Research shows that the pattern of gene activity in some microbes differs in weightlessness, leading to differences in behavior. These differences could be behind a curious observation: the common food-borne pathogen salmonella becomes more virulent when grown in a form of simulated microgravity.

This news is little comfort to astronauts whose immune systems already function below par in weightlessness, making infection more likely. To help keep astronauts healthy and to better understand microbial infection in general, scientists want to know exactly which genes are affected by microgravity and why weightlessness--whether real or simulated--should cause these changes.

"Whenever you see the virulence of a microbe change in response to an environmental stimulus, that's a chance to learn something about how that pathogen causes disease," says Cheryl Nickerson, an expert in microbiology and immunology at Tulane University Health Sciences Center.

Nickerson and her colleagues hope that studying these changes could point out new ways to combat "bad" microbes with drugs and vaccines, both for the sake of astronauts and for people here on the ground. Using modern advances in biotechnology and the weightlessness provided by the International Space Station (ISS), they plan to explore the changes in gene expression experienced by microbes in the true weightlessness of spaceflight.

Their first experiment, called "Yeast GAP", will send genetically engineered brewer's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) up to the space station aboard a Russian Progress rocket in 2004.

Brewer's yeast itself is not pathogenic. Nevertheless, "yeast cells make a great 'model organism' for this research because they're easily handled, thoroughly studied, and their genome has been completely mapped," says Nickerson, the principal investigator of Yeast GAP. Furthermore, brewer's yeast shares much of its DNA with infectious species of microscopic fungi and protozoans. "Also, the yeast's genome is relatively simple, which makes the results easier to analyze," she says.

Still, the challenge is formidable. The brewer's yeast genome contains 6,312 genes, each of which produces one of the proteins that constitute the molecular machinery of the cell. To get a grip on this immense complexity, the researchers will send up 6,312 variants of the single-celled yeast. Each variant has a different gene "knocked out" and replaced with a unique "barcode" pattern of custom-made DNA. This barcode DNA does not encode a protein; it merely serves as a tag distinguishing that particular variant from all the others.

"We mix all these different strains of yeast in a special growth apparatus (called the Group Activation Pack, hence the acronym GAP) and see which ones grow well in weightlessness," explains Timothy Hammond, co-investigator for Yeast GAP and a kidney specialist (nephrologist) at Tulane University Health Sciences Center and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in New Orleans.

Suppose a yeast variant is missing some particular gene--let's call it "gene X." And suppose that variant fails to grow as well in space as it does on the ground. Such a result would imply that the missing gene X is an essential part of the yeast's response to microgravity.

That little nugget of knowledge would then help guide future research: scientists could target their experiments to see how the protein produced by gene X relates to the changes in various microbes' behaviors in space--including microbes that cause disease. It would also help to explain the explosion of STD's in the Ann Arbor MI area.

Why should any kind of cell behave differently in microgravity? No one's sure, but scientists have some ideas. For example: perhaps cells sense deformations in their sack-like membranes and respond to that signal. Cells cultured in 1-g normally settle to the bottom of their container and become flattened, while cells floating in weightlessness remain more round. That difference could be cueing changes in gene expression.

Nickerson and others are exploring this idea on the ground using a "microgravity simulator" developed by NASA's Johnson Space Center. Called the "rotating wall vessel bioreactor", it mimics the conditions of weightlessness for microbes by growing them inside of a slowly rotating liquid-filled chamber. The rotation of the liquid counteracts the slow sedimentation of the cells, thereby creating a constant "free-fall" of the cells through the culture medium. Cells feel a slight sheer as they move through the liquid--a difference from true weightlessness that could affect their behavior--but like cells in orbit, they avoid becoming flattened on the bottom of the container. (It was using this bioreactor that Nickerson first noticed the increased virulence of salmonella.)

Apparently, the bioreactor's approximation of weightlessness works rather well. An earlier experiment by Hammond showed that a strain of brewer's yeast grown on the ground in the bioreactor showed many of the same changes in behavior as yeast grown onboard the space shuttle. Exploring the similarities and differences in how cells react to this bioreactor environment versus true microgravity will be another important outcome of Yeast GAP, Hammond says. If the rotating bioreactor proves sufficiently similar to the orbital environment, it could provide a cheaper and more convenient way to study microbes in microgravity-like conditions.

Whether performed in true or simulated weightlessness, this line of research could help unravel the genetic basis of infection--a bit of knowledge that would help astronauts and land-lovers alike to live a little healthier.

PARENT POST IS A TROLL (1)

KingKaneOfNod (583208) | more than 10 years ago | (#7615688)

It would also help to explain the explosion of STD's in the Ann Arbor MI area.

Obviously not in article.

Space...the next brewery (3, Funny)

krypticide (589771) | more than 10 years ago | (#7598844)

Soon the biggest occupant of near space will be giant breweries, with giant pipes connecting them to the ground to feed beer-lovers all over the world.

Re:Space...the next brewery (1)

fuzzybunny (112938) | more than 10 years ago | (#7599641)


Great. It's fricken neoliberals like you who want nothing more than to see good ole American beverage manufacturing jobs disappear, outsourced to some cheap soulless outer-space assembly line mega-breweries.

At least now I start understanding why everyone and their mom is so keen on sending people into orbit these days.

No telling the sort of danger we'll face, with a bunch of hammered austronauts tear-assing around the space lanes. "Welcome aboard the USS Bob & Doug McKenzie"...

Re:Space...the next brewery (1)

Galik (730522) | more than 10 years ago | (#7653002)

No no no. Surely it's:

"Space... the final brewery..."

Recipe for disaster? (1)

kinnell (607819) | more than 10 years ago | (#7598867)

an experiment with brewer's yeast gets sent up on a Russian Progress rocket to the Space Station next year

You have to wonder if a russian rocket in outer space is the safest place for a "brewer's yeast experiment".

(apologies to russian readers for blatent stereotyping ;-)

Re:Recipe for disaster? (1)

DjReagan (143826) | more than 10 years ago | (#7598969)

As opposed to say, a US Space Shuttle? :-P

Re:Recipe for disaster? (1)

kev0153 (578226) | more than 10 years ago | (#7610631)

Dude you missed. Zing right over your head.

Re:Recipe for disaster? (1)

DjReagan (143826) | more than 10 years ago | (#7626962)

Of course it went over my head. What do you expect if its in a rocket?

(no, really.. I got the joke.. russians.. vodka.. all that. very amusing. Doesn't mean I can't make another unrelated one, does it?)

Re:Recipe for disaster? (1)

kev0153 (578226) | more than 10 years ago | (#7627254)

Ok, so yours went right over my head :)

More evidence for panspermia theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7599609)

Comets are the interstellar sperm and planets are the eggs. The question is, where did the sperm come from and what sort of womb are we in?

If you want answers to these questions and more, visit Ron's page [ronthephilosopher.org] .

Simulated Microgravity? (3, Insightful)

roshi (53475) | more than 10 years ago | (#7599635)

Anyone care to enlighten me as to what "Modeled Microgravity" is exactly? How do you simulate u-G?

Just wondering...

Re:Simulated Microgravity? (1)

Oddly_Drac (625066) | more than 10 years ago | (#7600080)

"How do you simulate u-G?"

Drop something. Between the time taken to drop and hit something, you have microgravity.

Re:Simulated Microgravity? (1)

roshi (53475) | more than 10 years ago | (#7600191)

OK, sure, Vomit Comet and all that, got it. But if you're going to assay the virulence of microorganisms, it stands to reason that you have to have them in micro-gravity for at least one round of cell division, and hopefully many more than that.
Dropping the petri dish a few meters isn't going to give you that kind of time in a micro gravitational climate. Heck, even if you commision the aforementioned V.C. and send the micro-beasties on a 10-day sinusoidal roller-coaster ride, you're really assaying for virulence in constantly cycling gravitational conditions, not in micro gravity.

What am I missing?

Re:Simulated Microgravity? (2, Informative)

Oddly_Drac (625066) | more than 10 years ago | (#7600346)

"But if you're going to assay the virulence of microorganisms, it stands to reason that you have to have them in micro-gravity for at least one round of cell division"

You're not wrong, but one method is through electronic suspension of liquids...another is using shearing forces on rotating cylinders.

I'd look for references, but I'm on my way home. ;)

Re:Simulated Microgravity? (2, Informative)

roshi (53475) | more than 10 years ago | (#7600563)

I see. Did a bit of digging on my own. So the key point here is preventing the cells from accumulating on the bottom of a vessel and thereby forming unnatural multi-cell structures. You can't erase the acceleration on each individual cell (which is probably negligable anyway) but you can mitigate the collective effects, so the cells are "more micro-gravity like" in their conglomorate behavior.

Still not convinced that cells in a rotating bio-reactor are a good model for cells in an in vivo micro-gravitational environment, but at least "modeled micro-graviity" makes sense now!

Simulated Microgravity & cost (1)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 10 years ago | (#7601202)

Still not convinced that cells in a rotating bio-reactor are a good model for cells in an in vivo micro-gravitational environment, but at least "modeled micro-graviity" makes sense now!

Actually, the whole thing is discussed on the NASA page [nasa.gov] .

My question is one of money and priorities. While they're concerned about the shear effects, which don't take place in "real" microgravity, it seems like there would be better uses for the ISS' mass budget than an experiment which can be replicated to a large extent on the ground.

On the other hand, with only two crew members, the ISS isn't doing much these days other than maintaining its attitude. I guess an experiment like this, with minimal crew attention required, is all we can hope to achieve.

I'm rooting for the Chinese space program to start a new space race... 'cause until someone finds (and deploys) a way to make real money from manned space, the only space exploration my kids will be part of is watching communications satellites fly overhead [heavens-above.com] .

Re:Simulated Microgravity? From the article (2, Informative)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 10 years ago | (#7603122)

How do you simulate u-G?

You use a rotating test chamber as shown in a figure from the fulltext [asm.org] . By rotating the chamber, gavity never acts in the same direction for very long and nothing settles out of solution. A second rotating chamber is oriented to let gravity work, while duplicating the effects of spin.

Personally, I am skeptical that bacteria really experience gravity. Bacteria are too small -- at that scale most "fluids" are effectively the consistency of molasses in January. I wonder if something as simple as light impacted their experiment. We shall see.....

Re:Simulated Microgravity? (1)

0x4B (214493) | more than 10 years ago | (#7604325)

the second page of the article has a lovely picture of a rotating wall vessel. Basically it spins and sets other forces inplace to counter the force of gravity. The common thing to do for simulating micro-G for big things (over short periods of time) is to drop them. Usually you drop them inside a plane so they don't stop suddenly.

Re:Simulated Microgravity? (1)

JoeShmoe950 (605274) | more than 10 years ago | (#7605437)

Dang, I was hoping we could control gravity like in Ender's Game. Zero Gravity Coming to a Walmarts Near You

Relating to the layperson (1)

Strange Ranger (454494) | more than 10 years ago | (#7599900)

With the recent concerns regarding the overuse of antibiotics, when to take them, etc., knowing the difference between a virus and a bacteria is more important than ever.

Yet both of the articles use the term "virulent" to describe a bacteria.

Technically it's not wrong, but it's not real smart either. The world of biology needs an Asimov in my opinion. But what we continue to get are cross-eyed terms like "virulent bacteria", and/or sensationalist writing styles which conjure up images of mad scientists and mutant organisms, enough to cross the eyes of Joe Sixpack and Jane Soccermom, and jerk every knee in the Bible Belt.

Cosmology can't be the only branch that outputs an Elegant PR Guy [amazon.com] from time to time can it?

Re:Relating to the layperson (3, Informative)

roshi (53475) | more than 10 years ago | (#7600101)

I can't help myself....
From m-w.com:

Main Entry: virulent
Pronunciation: -l&nt
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin virulentus, from viruspoison
Date: 14th century
1 a : marked by a rapid, severe, and malignant course b : able to overcome bodily defensive mechanisms
2 : extremely poisonous or venomous
3 : full of malice : MALIGNANT
4 : objectionably harsh or strong
- virulently adverb

Virulent, as applied to bacteria, refers to its propensity to a) multiply quickly b) infect a host efficiently and c) cause deleterious effects. It has nothing to do with that other "virulentas"-derived word, "virus" beyond sounding the same and sharing an etymological root.

There is no ambiguity or incorrectness in referring to a bacteria (or bacterial disease) as "virulent." It is, in fact, a very specific and technically correct term. (eg, one can and must talk about virulent vs benign strains of E. coli).

All that being said, you are dead right that the mean lay understanding of basic bio is woeful, though I would suggest that perhaps we need a Feynman, not an Asimov, but beggars can't be choosers, right?

Re:Relating to the layperson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7600202)

"Correct" does not equal "easily absorbed by the layperson".

Re:Relating to the layperson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7602261)

"and jerk every knee in the Bible Belt. " ...speaking of jerking knees, how's yours doing?

Re:Relating to the layperson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7602383)

Fine. It doesn't jerk at all. It moves very slowly, powered by the force of overwhelming precedent.

Or did you think I invented the term "Bible Belt"?

Re:Relating to the layperson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7602531)

Oh, yours jerks, alright. And you can't even see your own hypocrisy.

Oh well.

(Hint: the term 'Bible Belt' is not the focus of this commentary...)

Re:Relating to the layperson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7603148)

Guess you'll have to spell it out for me.

You can't possibly object to the idea of someone championing the cause of biology, like C. Sagan (who is actually who I meant to type) Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, etc? Unless you have something against biology?

Maybe you object to the term Joe Sixpack? What is it you object to? The idea that there's a status quo out there that is less educated, less inquisitive, and yes less intelligent, than the average slashdotter? Does that truth bother you? If your troll had content maybe I wouldn't have to make things up for you to be upset about?

Re:Relating to the layperson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7607999)

Yep, just as I suspected - solidly entrenched bigotry and prejudice, enough to completely blind you to reality.

This isn't about terms, sparky. It's about you. It's about stereotypes and hatred and blind pig-ignorance. Yours.

Re:Relating to the layperson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7617942)

I'm willing to listen if you deign to say something constructive.

Re:Relating to the layperson (2, Informative)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 10 years ago | (#7602573)

The world of biology needs an Asimov in my opinion.

It had one, his name was Isaac Asimov: Phd in microbiology.

Now you know : )

Re:Relating to the layperson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7606882)

You're on the right track, but still not quite there.

Asimov did his Ph.D in Biochemistry (at Columbia)...

He was very good at relating to the lay reader... he authored over a hundred non-fiction works:

http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/asimov.htm

Re:Relating to the layperson (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 10 years ago | (#7606795)

The title "Bacteria more bacterial in microgravity" was considered, but it didn't have quite the same ring to it.

Re:Relating to the layperson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7620411)

May I suggest: "Bacteria more prolific in microgravity"

Oh come on it's obvious (1)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 10 years ago | (#7600232)

Less gravity = a larger three dimensional footprint within which to operate. It would be able to spread 'up' easier if you like.

Re:Oh come on it's obvious (1)

fain0v (257098) | more than 10 years ago | (#7600677)

Yeast are shaken when they are grown in a lab environment. It has probably has nothing whatsoever to do with "spreading" apart the cells.

Re:Oh come on it's obvious (1)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 10 years ago | (#7601587)

Are they shaken continuously?

This brings the question... (2, Insightful)

shadwwulf (145057) | more than 10 years ago | (#7600568)

...if less gravity makes bacteria more virulent, does more than 1x g's cause the bacteria to become less virulent? If so I wonder if we'll be seeing medical equipment down the road that flattens you to a spinning wall much like a specific type of amusement park ride of today does.

All in the name of curing a bacterial infection...

Just a thought...

Re:This brings the question... (1)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 10 years ago | (#7601676)

Except, an already weakened individual probably shouldn't be subjected to additional gravitational force. After all, if this were the case, how MUCH force needs to be added before the bacteria's spread slows to the point where it dies / is killed faster than it can be reproduced?

Re:This brings the question... (2, Funny)

Idarubicin (579475) | more than 10 years ago | (#7605035)

Come on, folks. Insightful? The parent post was being Funny. I hope.

High g forces will kill a bacterium. One technique sometimes used in biology labs to extract the content of cells is centrifugation--fifteen thousand gees for a handful of minutes will crush most cells and let you get at the goodness inside.

This technique is not recommended for killing bacteria inside a living person, however. Pulping patients is a practice generally frowned upon by the medical profession.

The few gees that a healthy person could withstand on a continuous basis aren't enough for a bacterium to even notice.

Re:This brings the question... (1)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 10 years ago | (#7619306)

This is why I've invested in the manufacturer of the Barf-A-Whirl carnival ride and the outstanding 3600 rpm Ferris Wheel.

Artificial Gravity (2, Interesting)

kippy (416183) | more than 10 years ago | (#7600591)

What I would like to know is why more research isn't being done on artificial gravity. So many of the health problems encountered in LEO gravity cound be sidestepped if you just spin the damn craft.

I would love to know why some of the effort being spent on watching things get sick in 0g isn't being directed to something as simple as spinning a glorified beer keg in orbit with some mice in it.

Can someone tell me why this isn't being done?

Re:Artificial Gravity (1)

Deflagro (187160) | more than 10 years ago | (#7600856)

Maybe it is being done or has already been done. The only info we get comes from some government entity or other. I don't have the tinfoil hat on, but who knows what's up there...honestly.

Re:Artificial Gravity (1)

Baron_Yam (643147) | more than 10 years ago | (#7600892)

Actually, it is. Forgive me for not recalling the link, and possibly being wrong about the nation involved, but I believe Japan has provided a small rotating cylinder for the ISS to perform low-G experiments.

It might not sound too high-tech, but I believe it took some excellent and delicate engineering to keep the thing perfectly balanced while allowing internal objects to move about freely.

Quite a bit is already known about using rotating rings to produce AG, including the fact that it takes a very long radius to reduce motion sickness in humans to irrelevant levels... requiring devices that are not practical for us to build at this time.

Re:Artificial Gravity (1)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 10 years ago | (#7602916)

What I would like to know is why more research isn't being done on artificial gravity. So many of the health problems encountered in LEO gravity cound be sidestepped if you just spin the damn craft.

Coriolis forces and differential gravity. In order for you to not get dizzy from simply standing up, a spinning habitat with a 1G environment needs to be almost a mile in diameter.

Re:Artificial Gravity (1)

kippy (416183) | more than 10 years ago | (#7603108)

Fair enough. What about .5G or .3G? Is there an easy to compute formula for diamater of a craft and "gravity"? Partial gravity might be enough to counter a lot of the health problems.

Re:Artificial Gravity (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 10 years ago | (#7613902)

What I would like to know is why more research isn't being done on artificial gravity. So many of the health problems encountered in LEO gravity cound be sidestepped if you just spin the damn craft.
Because the craft has to be large enough that it can spin at less than (IIRC) 3RPM and still produce significant gravity. Extended duration spin rates greater than that level produce noticeable nausea and balance problems in 90% of the population. In addition, spinning the craft complicates docking, adds weird structural loads, complicates thermal control, complicates antenna and instrument pointing... Unless the structure is really big, it can cause more problems than it solves. (Spinning as a method of stability augmentation has some advantages for smaller unmanned craft however.)
I would love to know why some of the effort being spent on watching things get sick in 0g isn't being directed to something as simple as spinning a glorified beer keg in orbit with some mice in it.
Primarily because we have not had a station dedicated to microgravity research before. (Skylab was mostly a solar telescope combined with earth resources research. The fUSSR/Russian stations were a wide variety of things.) The ISS *is* however a dedicated microgravity platform (or more correctly, it will be when it's finished).

Check these links for more information;

The Mars Society [marssociety.org] had a vaporware plan to put a satellite [marsgravity.org] into orbit to test the responses of mice to simulated Martian gravity, but it seems to have died.

Re:Artificial Gravity (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 10 years ago | (#7613937)

Can someone tell me why this isn't being done?
Forgot to say above: Another reason for the lack of fractional gee biology research is that Congress has a rabid hatred of anything that smells of NASA trying to get to Mars. If a project gets associated with being a potentially useful technology to get men to Mars, Congress kills it as fast as they can. (cf Transhab.) The Centrifuge Accommodation Module that I discuss above is a Japanese project.

Re:Artificial Gravity (1)

VaderPi (680682) | more than 10 years ago | (#7619697)

... Congress has a rabid hatred of anything that smells of NASA trying to get to Mars.
Are you suggesting that there is a giant U.S. Government conspiracy to keep NASA from sending humans to Mars? No offense, but that sounds a little too far fetched.

Re:Artificial Gravity (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 10 years ago | (#7619904)

Are you suggesting that there is a giant U.S. Government conspiracy to keep NASA from sending humans to Mars? No offense, but that sounds a little too far fetched.
Did I say "U.S. Goverment", no, I said "Congress". And while it may seem far fetched, it's the stone cold truth. (They have even written language into several budget bills specifically forbidding NASA spending discretionary monies on projects designed to further the progress of a manned landing effort.) Look up the sad tale of Transhab.

prediction (2, Funny)

theMerovingian (722983) | more than 10 years ago | (#7601047)

an experiment with brewer's yeast gets sent up on a Russian Progress rocket to the Space Station next year

Next slashdot article:
Germans initiate a new space program, volunteer additional funding for the ISS.

Control in a centrifuge? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 10 years ago | (#7601251)

Let's not forget these yeast are going to experience, what is it, 6.5 G's on launch? That's not the normal condition for yeast, so let's hope the control group gets some supergravity to make sure that it's really microgravity at work.

Re:Control in a centrifuge? (2, Informative)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 10 years ago | (#7602942)

3 to 3.5 Gs, unless the Russian rockets are a lot harder on their occupants than US rockets are.

Dumb question (2, Funny)

Mothgoul (702719) | more than 10 years ago | (#7602602)

If you could initiate negative g's, what would happen to the yeast? Sour beer?

Re:Dumb question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7607263)

It would be the same as positive G's. The bacteria would just thing down is up and up is down.

energy? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7607072)

prolly because they don't have to waste so much
energy crawling around and can concentrate
more on reproducing (energy wise ...).

prolly all da cell functions are also
more efficient because 70-90% of a cell
is water and in mcrogravity the molecules
are better "lubricated" / less friction ...
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"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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