Telemycology: A Novel Approach to Monitoring Environmental Microbial Load in Space Station Freedom 891542

The currently available methods for monitoring environmental microbial load call for the cultivation of microbes on laboratory media, a time- and material-consuming task that is potentially hazardous. Telemycology proposed in this communication is designed to eliminate the need for growing microbes, especially fungi, on board the spacecraft and to shift bulk of the work-load to the ground-based Microbiology Laboratory. The system is based on the principle of trapping microbial propagules on a membrane filter, treating it with a microbe-enhancing reagent and examining under a microscope down-linked to the central laboratory equipped with a synchronized televideo, telerobotics and image banking system.


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