DNA Can Survive Critical Conditions In Space

Friday, 28 November 2014, 11:32 Hrs
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LONDON: The genetic material DNA can survive a flight through space and re-entry into Earth's atmosphere - and still pass on genetic information, scientists have found.



The discovery was made by scientists from the University of Zurich in Switzerland during an experiment on the TEXUS-49 research rocket mission.



Small, double-stranded DNA molecules that were applied to the outer shell of the payload section of a rocket using pipettes flew into space from Earth and back again.



After the launch, space flight, re-entry into Earth's atmosphere and landing, the so-called plasmid DNA molecules were still found on all the application points on the rocket from the TEXUS-49 mission.



For the most part, the DNA salvaged was still able to transfer genetic information to bacterial and connective tissue cells.



 



"This study provides experimental evidence that the DNA's genetic information is essentially capable of surviving the extreme conditions of space and the re-entry into Earth's dense atmosphere," said study head Professor Oliver Ullrich from the University of Zurich's Institute of Anatomy.



The experiment called DARE (DNA atmospheric re-entry experiment) resulted from an idea by UZH scientists Dr Cora Thiel and Ullrich who were conducting experiments on the TEXUS-49 mission to study the role of gravity in the regulation of gene expression in human cells using remote-controlled hardware inside the rocket's payload.
Source: PTI

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