Monday, April 27, 2009

Did Somebody Say Anti-Germ Space Paint? Authentic NASA Toys and Replicas
Aside from radiation, micro gravity and cabin fever, keeping a space ship clean can easily spell the difference between life and death.

Since micro gravity has a way of encouraging the growth of deadly organisms, future explorers will probably have to spend a lot of time keeping their "space trailer" squeaky clean--especially the walls.

While cleaning up the space ship may appeal to those in love with Mr. Clean, it may be better for space agencies to coat their space craft walls with anti-germ paint instead.

(Fox News) Scientists at the University of South Dakota have invented a new germ-killing molecule that can be added to commercial brands of paint to give the paint long-lasting antimicrobial properties.

The molecule includes a bleach-like substance called an N-halamine. N-halamines are already used widely, but the South Dakota researchers were able to develop a new type known as Cl-TMPM. [...]

In tests, Staphylococcus aureus organisms were killed with 10 minutes of contact, and E coli organisms were killed with 5 minutes of contact. Paint treated with Cl-TMPM was even effective against the superbug MRSA and other drug-resistant bacteria.

Unfortunately the new paint is only effective against a small selection of organisms, although hopefully scientists will be able to expand it to a variety of organisms known to infest human habitats (whether on our homeworld, off world or even in space).

If perfected, this paint would not only save future explorers countless hours in "de-germing" their extra terrestrial habitats, but make living on another world a lot safer as well.

(Image Credit: eHow)

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You can either visit the stars or watch them from afar.

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~Darnell Clayton, 2007

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