Sep 6, 2011 7:56 AM by Lauren Wilson & AP
RUSTON, La. (AP) - Researchers from Louisiana Tech University will be floating high above the Gulf of Mexico this month to conduct zero-gravity testing of an experimental DNA analysis instrument developed at Tech that could benefit future NASA astronauts.
Niel Crews, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, and Collin Tranter, a graduate student with the Institute for Micromanufacturing tell The News-Star the instrument could be used to monitor the health of astronauts exposed to cosmic radiation beyond Earth's protective atmosphere.
The Louisiana Tech researchers will subject themselves to extreme conditions in order to conduct sensitive testing of the miniature device.
The instrument attracted the attention of NASA scientists for possible use on the International Space Station, during inter-planetary travel and even for unmanned missions to search for life within the Solar System.