CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - A group of Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi Marine Biology grad students and their professor spent their Saturday putting the final touches on their deep sea fungus research.
Dr. Brandi Kiel Reese and her team will be sending the Penicillin fungus to the International Space Station on the Space X Rocket Monday morning, the first time this kind of organism has ever traveled to space.
"What makes this specific fungus so unique is that it's been buried thousands of feet under the ocean's surface for 73 million years, and all that time, it's been living." says Dr. Reese.
The idea is to send it from one extreme environment to the complete opposite and study the changes. Megan Mullis' focus on this project has been antiobiotic production and during the month this fungus is in space any modification will mean positive results.
"If this is changed then it could potentially lead to a new deritive of antibiotics that we have today." says Mullis.
Dr. Reese's team says the biggest obstacle is making sure the fungus can stay frozen not only at the space station, but when it travels back to Earth.
Officials say if this project is successful and even just one new antibiotic or deritive is discovered it could help solve the problem of antibiotic immunity.
"If we could have a new method to attack these harmful bacteria that are causing infections then that would be incredible."
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