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Bacteria can survive and mutate on Mars

Research conducted by scientists from Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen (Netherlands) and Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (Germany) confirms that bacteria can not only survive but also reproduce in conditions similar to those found on Mars.

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These discoveries could have significant implications for future missions to the Red Planet.

According to Science News, in the study, scientists placed four types of bacteria in containers with rocks simulating Martian soil and conditions similar to those on Mars (lack of water, low atmospheric pressure, ultraviolet radiation, and toxic salts).

Experiments showed that the bacteria not only survived in such conditions but also demonstrated growth in artificial Martian sands.

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The results of this study have important implications for the health of future astronauts and the prevention of contamination on other planets. Scientists note that bacteria are surprisingly resilient organisms that can adapt to the most unfavorable conditions.

As part of the experiment, four common pathogens were exposed to a Martian environment with little water, low atmospheric pressure, ultraviolet radiation, and toxic salts. Some bacteria remained alive for varying periods of time, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa even grew steadily for 21 days.

Interestingly, past research has focused on extremophilic organisms adapted to survive radiation, salt, and temperature changes, but the current results indicate the ability of common bacteria to survive in conditions similar to those found on Mars.

The scientists say the study’s findings highlight the need for preparations for future missions to Mars, including providing astronauts with a variety of antibiotics to combat potentially pathogenic bacteria that can survive and mutate on the planet’s surface.

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The discoveries also call into question how the human immune system would react to exposure to microbes that survived and mutated in Martian conditions.

Scientists say they are confident that human ingenuity will find solutions to mitigate potential problems but urge caution to avoid contaminating other planets with Earth’s bacteria.

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Jake Carter

Jake Carter is a researcher and a prolific writer who has been fascinated by science and the unexplained since childhood. He is always eager to share his findings and insights with the readers of anomalien.com, a website he created in 2013.