This particular species of fungus is important in biomedical research. Scientists basically know A. nidulans' genome forwards and backwards, but there are parts of it that remain mysterious. The functions of many genes are unknown, and Wang's team is hoping the stresses of the space environment might activate those genes and generate new compounds. If you imagine A. nidulans as a factory, "it's like a lot of machines in the factory have been turned off, so we don't know what they make," says Wang. "In space they might get turned on."