Stopping Salmonella in Space
Reported January 2011
TEMPE, AZ (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- The Food Safety Modernization Act just passed the Senate and is one step closer to President Obama's desk. It gives the FDA new powers to recall tainted foods, increase inspections and demand accountability for bad food. Each year, 48 million people get sick from tainted food. Three thousand people die from it. In fact, salmonella is the leading cause of food-borne illness worldwide. Now, scientists are going to unprecedented lengths to try to find a way to clean up our food.
You need Flash Player 8 or higher to view video content with the ROO Flash Player.
Click here to download and install it.
When people started getting sick from salmonella-tainted eggs several months ago, it made Lisa Eshelman think twice.
“I wasn’t sure which way to go with it, should I just toss them?" Eshelman told Ivanhoe.
After the big scare over contaminated eggs and peanut butter she tries to be extra careful.
“Oh I definitely don’t want to endanger the family, rather be safe than sorry as far as that goes,” Eshelman said.
Salmonella is the leading cause of bacterial food borne illness in the U.S., and the leading cause of death from food borne illness, but we still don’t know how to stop it. Arizona State University microbiologist, Cheryl Nickerson, Ph.D., is sending the bacteria out of this world. When two shuttle missions carried salmonella specimens into space, researchers made a surprising discovery; salmonella grown during spaceflight was three to seven times stronger than when grown on earth.
“Spaceflight uniquely increased the virulence of salmonella," Dr. Nickerson said. "It made it a better pathogen, it was better able to cause disease at a lower infectious dose, and so it was a better pathogen in flight.”
Researchers say understanding the genetic switches that change the disease-causing potential of salmonella in space could be the key to finding a way to stop it.
“If you know what’s causing a bacteria to be more virulent or less virulent, that gives you important mechanistic insight that you can use here on earth to develop a better vaccine or a better therapeutic to treat it,” Dr. Nickerson said.
Science from space that could one day make our food here on earth safer. There’s really no way to ‘see’ if food is contaminated with salmonella, but the symptoms include cramping, chills, diarrhea, fever, muscle pain, nausea and vomiting.
Click here to Go Inside This Science or contact:
Cheryl A. Nickerson, Ph.D.
Arizona State University
Cure for Vision Loss
This Month's TV Reports
A new eye treatment could save the vision for thousands of people who are going blind or have already lost most of their ability to see
Saving Lives: Detecting Lung Cancer Faster
Each year, more people die from lung cancer than breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer combined. A new test is now able to detect what doctors can’t even see and get patients treated much faster than ever before
Make Every Breath Count: New Test for Cystic Fiborsis
It’s one of medicine’s biggest challenges—finding new treatments and a cure for cystic fibrosis. A simple new test may help patients get the treatment they need, when they need it
Veggies in Space
Could there be life on other planets? To find out, we’re going to have to live in space—but how do you do that if there’s no food? Researchers have found a way to grow tomatoes and other vegetables that defy gravity
Stopping Salmonella in Space
Each year thousands of people get sick from tainted tomatoes and bad peanut butter. Now, astronauts are working to find ways to stop salmonella once and for all.
Paraylzed Players—Log Rolls Vs Lifting?
The second leading cause of all spinal cord injuries happens while teens and young adults are playing sports. But first responders may be putting these athletes at risk just by trying to help them
New Approach to Acl Repair
More than 95,000 people experience an ACL rip or tear while hitting the playing field, baseball diamond or tennis court. More than 30 percent of all repairs fail. Now doctors know why and have found a better way to get people back on their feet.
'Brain Suites' Replacing Operating Rooms
Each year twenty million Americans undergo a surgery. Check out one of four state of the art operating rooms that will change the way all surgeons operate.
Lasers Defying Gravity
A powerful laser can transform metals and pull liquids ‘uphill’. This new technology could change the way blood is drawn.
Robots Reading Autistic Kids’ Minds
Every twenty minutes a child in the US is diagnosed with Autism. A new therapy combines jump shots – robots—and a careful eye to help these kids live a better life.
Girls Changing Science
Not all scientists are PhD’s, old and grey. Two young girls are showing us what they’re made of and they’re helping change science along the way
His students call him the ‘singing professor’. You have got to hear how this teacher is getting kids involved and interested in his class