NASA astronaut is the first ever to sequence RNA in space

This week, NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold became the first person to sequence RNA in space, another molecular milestone aboard the orbiting laboratory.

Much of present-day science focuses on exploring the molecular world. A primary tool is DNA sequencing, performed for the first time on the orbiting lab in August 2016.

Biomolecule Extraction and Sequencing Technology (BEST) seeks to advance use of sequencing in space in three ways: identifying microbes aboard the space station that current methods cannot detect, assessing microbial mutations in the genome because of spaceflight and performing direct RNA sequencing.

Within the first few minutes, more than 15,000 RNA molecules had been sequenced, matching and surpassing many ground sequencing runs. The run continued for 48 hours.

Learn more about the BEST investigation here.

Source – Nasa

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