Navigation Links
Earth microbes may contaminate the search for life on Mars
Date:4/27/2010

Bacteria common to spacecraft may be able to survive the harsh environs of Mars long enough to inadvertently contaminate Mars with terrestrial life according to research published in the April 2010 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

The search for life on Mars remains a stated goal of NASA's Mars Exploration Program and Astrobiology Institutes. To preserve the pristine environments, the bioloads on spacecraft headed to Mars are subject to sterilization designed to prevent the contamination of the Martian surface.

Despite sterilization efforts made to reduce the bioload on spacecraft, recent studies have shown that diverse microbial communities remain at the time of launch. The sterile nature of spacecraft assembly facilities ensures that only the most resilient species survive, including acinetobacter, bacillus, escherichia, staphylococcus and streptococcus.

Researchers from the University of Central Florida replicated Mars-like conditions by inducing desiccation, hypobaria, low temperatures, and UV irradiation. During the week-long study they found that Escherichia coli, a potential spacecraft contaminant, may likely survive but not grow on the surface of Mars if it were shielded from UV irradiation by thin layers of dust or UV-protected niches in spacecraft.

"If long-term microbial survival is possible on Mars, then past and future explorations of Mars may provide the microbial inoculum for seeding Mars with terrestrial life," say the researchers. "Thus, a diversity of microbial species should be studied to characterize their potential for long term survival on Mars."


'/>"/>

Contact: Garth Hogan
ghogan@asmusa.org
American Society for Microbiology
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Global Warming and the Habitability of Planet Earth, Sept. 26
2. Good earth: Brown chemists show origin of soil-scented geosmin
3. Scientists launch deep-sea scientific drilling program to study volatile earthquake zone
4. Biogeochemistry -- A window into the Earths ecological health
5. How did chemical constituents essential to life arise on primitive Earth?
6. Scientists warn that species extinction could reduce productivity of plants on Earth by half
7. Earth Observation essential for geohazard mitigation
8. Liquid crystal phases of tiny DNA molecules point up new scenario for first life on Earth
9. Planting carbon deep in the earth -- rather than the greenhouse
10. Evolution tied to Earth movement
11. Down to earth remedies for chimps
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/11/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... their offering. ... tracking market to grow at a CAGR of 30.37% during the ... 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with ... its growth prospects over the coming years. The report also includes ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 5, 2017  The Allen Institute for ... Cell Explorer: a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window ... imaging data, the first application of deep learning to ... stem cell lines and a growing suite of powerful ... for these and future publicly available resources created and ...
(Date:4/3/2017)... April 3, 2017  Data captured by ... platform, detected a statistically significant association between ... to treatment and objective response of cancer ... to predict whether cancer patients will respond ... as well as to improve both pre-infusion potency ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... June 20, 2017 , ... Do More with OHAUS , With the launch ... supplier in the weighing industry, to extending its expertise across the entire laboratory to ... hybridizations and more, allowing for its customers to 'Do More' in the ...
(Date:6/19/2017)... ... 19, 2017 , ... EDETEK, Inc., a clinical technology company ... launching two new additions of its award-winning cloud-based platform CONFORM™: Information Hub and ... 2017 Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL, June 19-22, 2017. , “Modern clinical trials ...
(Date:6/16/2017)... ... June 16, 2017 , ... ... and commercialization, has just announced two more sessions of its “From the Helm” ... focus on the world of online templates for design control exercises. Led by ...
(Date:6/15/2017)... ... June 15, 2017 , ... New resistant soybean ... options for managing Palmer amaranth and other broadleaf weeds resistant to glyphosate. But ... necessary. Auxin herbicides are known to drift and to cause harm to sensitive, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: