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San Marino students study how bacteria fares in space

Some children ask Santa for a pony. Others want video games. But Christmas came early for a group of San Marino High School science prodigies, with a special delivery from the International Space Station.

The package: a plastic tube containing bacteria grown in space, opened Dec. 15 in a laboratory at Caltech's Beckman Behavioral Biology building.

Earlier this year students designed a test of how decreased gravity and exposure to radiation outside Earth's atmosphere would affect bacteria growth. The National Center for Earth and Space Science delivered samples prepared at the school to astronauts aboard the space station, who activated the experiment.

Now it's up to the students to measure the results.

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