When Atlantis takes off for the International Space Station today, it will carry a research project scientists hope may increase the productivity of antibiotics on Earth. The experiment on the ISS will help solve the puzzle of why bacteria seem to grow better in space.

Engineers at BioServe Space Technologies, a NASA Commercial Space Center (CSC) at the University of Colorado have developed a system known as MOBIAS: the Multiple Orbital Bioreactor with Instrumentation and Automated Sampling. MOBIAS, which provides bacteria with roughly the same environment whether they are in space or on the ground. More here.