Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Engineer Cynthia Collins Will Study the Impacts of Microgravity on Dangerous Bacteria
There will be some very interesting passengers on the final mission of the NASA Space Shuttle Atlantis scheduled to launch July 8, 2011: thousands of bacteria.
Cynthia Collins, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering at Rensselaer, is leading a series of experiments called Micro-2A that will be aboard the shuttle during its scheduled 12-day mission. The research seeks to understand how microgravity changes the way potentially dangerous bacteria grows. In particular, the research will examine how they form difficult-to-kill colonies called biofilms.
Two Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute professors have been named 2010 fellows of the American Chemical Society (ACS).
Director of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS) and the Howard P. Isermann ’42 Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering Jonathan Dordick and Professor Emeritus of Chemistry Leonard Interrante were both recognized by the ACS for their “outstanding achievements in and contributions to the science, the profession, and service to the society.”
Building on an enzyme found in nature, researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have created a nanoscale coating for surgical equipment, hospital walls, and other surfaces which safely eradicates methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the bacteria responsible for antibiotic resistant infections.
“We’re building on nature,” said Jonathan S. Dordick, the Howard P. Isermann Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, and director of Rensselaer’s Center for Biotechnology & Interdisciplinary Studies.
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