Concerns about the long-term effects of weightlessness on astronauts’ health have taken many forms. A common one is their need to exercise while in orbit to counteract losses of bone density and muscle mass. Now a science team headed by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and NASA Ames Research Center is posing a different question, but one untidy housekeepers will understand: What about scum? That is, what affect might microbes in a biofilm—or, more prosaically, scum—play over time? ...

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