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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2003 Jan 21;218(1):161-5.

Microorganisms cultured from stratospheric air samples obtained at 41 km.

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1
Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK. m.wainwright@sheffield.ac.uk

Abstract

Samples of air removed from the stratosphere, at an altitude of 41 km, were previously found to contain viable, but non-cultureable bacteria (cocci and rods). Here, we describe experiments aimed at growing these, together with any other organisms, present in these samples. Two bacteria (Bacillus simplex and Staphylococcus pasteuri) and a single fungus, Engyodontium album (Limber) de Hoog were isolated from the samples. Although the possibility of contamination can never be ruled out when space-derived samples are studied on earth, we are confident that the organisms originated from the stratosphere. Possible mechanisms by which these organisms could have attained such a height are discussed.

PMID:
12583913
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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