They haven t found alien life out there yet, but following the first successful in-space DNA sequencing, astronauts have a better way to look for it.
This first test was mostly just to see that DNA sequencing works in space the same way as it does here on Earth.
Although future tests will include new samples of unknown origin, for the initial test, astronaut Kate Rubins used previously prepared mouse, bacteria, and virus DNA samples, whose sequences were already known.
While Rubins did the test on the space station, NASA researchers were sequencing the same set of samples on the ground.
Initial results appear to be identical both on Earth and in space — and that means that, for the first time ever, we have a working DNA sequencer in space.
Kate Rubins performs the first sequencing Image: NASA