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Posted by on Dec 28, 2012 in Science |

Terrestrial microbes living in the ice could survive on Mars

Terrestrial microbes living in the ice could survive on Mars

(Cc) flickr Perrimoon

The analysis of some extreme conditions on Earth have helped scientists to simulate some of which exist on Mars, many of them related to the extremes of our planet cooler.

One of the experiments conducted in recent months was to take samples of the conditions of some in the ice permafrost , permafrost surface layers that exist in some extreme regions on Earth. After submitting to conditions similar to those of Mars, as freezing pressure without oxygen, these samples, several survived. Even some of the surviving bacteria strains were found to be similar to a family which can be found in the vacuum frozen meat.

Although this does not mean that we could find in similar conditions, whether it is a wake up call to appreciate the danger posed by not using an appropriate procedure to sterilize all equipment that travels overland to the Red Planet, which could be contaminated by ourselves.

The test procedure was performed by taking a sample of bacteria from the bottom of a piece of permafrost in Siberia, of an older age for thousands of years. Then take it to extremes of heat, cold and lack of oxygen, as in the Martian atmosphere, the highest percentage of existing microbes in the sample did not notice any changes or trials were even continued to grow.

The DNA sequences showed that the bacterial samples were of the family of Carnobacterium, which owes its name to be found in packs of chilled meat in vacuum.

The result of this research could be somewhat contradictory to the desire for ever step on Mars. What guarantees would have to find that some form of life on will be discovered some terrestrial bacteria that came through one of our missions? How harmful could be for the future of the red planet that terrestrial bacteria begin to take their land and achieve tolerate extreme atmosphere?

According to the authors of the experiment, there are hundreds of factors related to Martian soil conditions that have not been tested, as the influence of the sun’s ultraviolet rays, galactic cosmic rays, even conditions regolith Martian, which contains numerous potentially toxic factors as salinity, pH or oxidizing.

Link: Permafrost microbes survive conditions similar to Those on Mars (ArsTechnica)

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