Science

Space oddity: bacteria can survive cosmic trip, study shows

Space oddity: bacteria can survive cosmic trip, study shows”

Scientists have discovered that microbe colonies at least 0.5mm thick are resistant to the extreme cold and high radiation levels and can survive the harsh environment of space for years.

The Deinococcus bacteria was found about two years ago by an aircraft and scientific balloons.

It can resist 3,000 situations the sum of radiation that would get rid of a human and was 1st isolated in cans of meat subjected to sterilizing radiation.

The new study report backs up the panspermia theory, a hypothesis that suggests the existence of life throughout the universe.

New examination from the astro-biology strategic which signifies "dandelion" in Japanese, proposes it could be. But the scientists said this was the first experiment to test bacteria in the form of an aggregate or cluster.

For Dr. Akihiko Yamagishi, a Professor at Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences and lead author of the new study, these findings raise enticing possibilities. The microbes, which are known to be highly resistant to radiation, were collected from atmospheric dust. For the Tanpopo mission, samples of microbes were being prepared in pellets of a variety of thickness and put in the wells of aluminum plates.

The bacterial samples, which had varying thicknesses, were exposed to the same environment outside the space station for one, two, or three years.

The Deinococcus germs examined within the house station did not fare so well, exactly where oxygen and humidity proved unsafe to the bacteria, Yamagishi mentioned. Pellets of bacteria that were thicker served as a sort of nest.

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When asked how Deinococcus radiodurans is able to survive such harsh conditions, Yamagishi said it's because "they have multiple copies of genomes and a heightened ability to fix damage done to DNA", which they did once they were rehydrated.

He and his team found if the bacteria is formed in thick layers, the top ones die off but then can act as a source of protection for the bottom layers for several years.

Recently, the researchers published the results of their study in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology. All the while riding outwardly of the International Space Station. All things considered, following three years adhered to the outside of the ISS, the dried Deinococcus pellets that were thicker than 0.5 mm, endure their laps around Earth. The design of the experiment allowed the researcher to extrapolate and predict that a colony of 1 mm of diameter could potentially survive up to 8 years in outer space conditions.

"The results suggest that radioresistant Deinococcus could survive during the travel from Earth to Mars and vice versa, which is several months or years in the shortest orbit", explained Dr. Yamagishi.

The theory also implies that bacteria would survive the trip on outer space because it would also be immune to space vacuum, space radiations, and even temperature fluctuations. "I think we won't be able to answer that question until we've had a really thorough look at the surface of Mars. did it ever have life. and was it like us?" "We are also looking for the opportunity to search for life on Mars, building the automatic microscope to search for bacteria on Mars' surface", Yamagashi said.

The NASA Perseverance Rover, which is now en route and due to land on Mars in February after launching in July, went through rigorous cleaning from assembly to prelaunch. Yamagashi and his group presume that microscopic organisms might be propelled from Earth by the electric field produced in tempests, handling the way that micrometeorites do in the air of Earth.

Eventually it may cross paths with the Earth, but that could take millions of years - or longer. "(A) similar landing process may be present in the thin atmosphere of Mars".

Next, Yamagashi and his team are interested in conducting more exposure experiments for microbes on NASA's Lunar Gateway. It's a critical component of NASA's Artemis Program, which aims to land the first woman and next man on the lunar surface by 2024.



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