Where humans travel, bacteria will follow. If people are in space for any amount of time, bacteria are sure to thrive there so it’s good to know that there are already researchers looking at how the environment within spaceships affects bacterial populations. Work done on planktonic colonies of bacteria has shown that they can become more virulent and grow faster once they leave earth, but more interestingly there are also changes to bacterial biofilms seen during space flight.
Biofilms are large bacterial colonies that can form on surfaces. They are particularly problematic in hospitals as the bacteria in the bottom of the biofilm are often protected from antibiotics. Biofilms are formed when free-swimming planktonic bacteria clump together, settle down, and coat themselves in slime.