Israeli study: Diseases can be diagnosed in space using CRISPR-Cas

i24NEWS

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Eytan Stibbe performing the experiment on the International Space Station.
Courtesy/ Ramon Foundation and the Israel Space AgencyEytan Stibbe performing the experiment on the International Space Station.

Tel Aviv University research could lead to rapid detection of diseases and pathogens on space missions

A recent Israeli experiment at the International Space Station could lead to the rapid detection of diseases and pathogens in zero-gravity environments.

Researchers from Tel Aviv University proved that the CRISPR-Cas can be used to identify viruses and bacteria infecting crew members on space missions.

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Astronaut Eytan Stibbe conducted the experiment as part of the "Rakia" mission launched to space in April. The mission is led by the Ramon Foundation and the Israel Space Agency.

The study was led by Dr. Dudu Burstein from the Shmunis School of Biomedicine and Cancer Research, Tel Aviv University and Dr. Gur Pines from the Volcani Institute. 

"This is the first step towards the simple and rapid diagnosis of diseases and pathogens even on space missions," Burstein said.

The researchers said that the CRISPR system could be used for long space missions at the International Space Station or even lunar landings or missions to Mars

"It was inspiring to see our test kit in Eytan's hands at the Space Station, and we're even more excited by the possibility that such kits will help future astronauts on their extraterrestrial missions," Burstein concluded.

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