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Terraforming Mars With Mushrooms

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posted on Apr, 12 2009 @ 10:38 AM
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www.care2.com...

Posted by Veronica, selected from Ode magazine Apr 6, 2009 5:26 pm, By
Linda Baker

Once you have heard “renaissance mycologist” Paul Stamets talk about
mushrooms, you will never look at the world–not to mention your
backyard–in the same way again. The author of two seminal textbooks,
The Mushroom Cultivator and Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms,
Stamets runs Fungi Perfecti, a family-owned gourmet and medicinal
mushroom business in Shelton, in Washington. His convictions about the
expanding role that mushrooms will play in the development of earth-
friendly technologies and medicines have led him to collect and clone
more than 250 strains of wild mushrooms–which he stores in several on
and off-site gene libraries.

Until recently, claims Stamets, mushrooms were largely ignored by the
mainstream medical and environmental establishment. Or, as he puts it,
“they suffered from biological racism.” But Stamets is about to thrust
these higher fungi into the 21st century. In collaboration with
several public and private agencies, he is pioneering the use of
“mycoremediation” and “mycofiltration” technologies. These involve the
cultivation of mushrooms to clean up toxic waste sites, improve
ecological and human health, and in a particularly timely bit of
experimentation, break down chemical warfare agents possessed by
Saddam Hussein.

“Fungi are the grand recyclers of the planet and the vanguard species
in habitat restoration,” says Stamets, who predicts that
bioremediation using fungi will soon be a billion-dollar industry. “If
we just stay at the crest of the mycelial wave, it will take us into
heretofore unknown territories that will be just magnificent in their
implications.”





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[edit on 13-4-2009 by 12m8keall2c]




posted on Apr, 12 2009 @ 12:39 PM
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reply to post by Donnie Darko
 


What an interesting article. I have read that one acre of corn will create thousands of gallons of water in one day, so the way to terraform Mars is to use plants. The breakdown properties of the fungi will help make the nutrients in the soil that are necessary for the other plants.

BTW, mushrooms also taste great!



posted on Apr, 12 2009 @ 01:15 PM
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I thought mushrooms produce a lot of CO2?
What about worms? They are good for making soils, or would they also need oxygen? Maybe start with small strong plants that can survive in harsh conditions before going onto larger ones like corn.

What is with a character limit all of a sudden?



posted on Apr, 12 2009 @ 01:22 PM
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Just build humanoid robots that are resistant to the enviroment. Much cheaper and you wouldnt need to wait 1,000,000 years for the planet to have enough oxygen to breath. Remotely controlled robots is the only logical future for life in the universe to visit planets with hostile enviroments. Of course you would include a way to self destruct it so that tech didnt fall into the wrong hands.



posted on Apr, 12 2009 @ 08:33 PM
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does anyone see any problems with this idea? or is it a go go?



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 12:44 PM
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Its is possible... but other technologys will over take it. Just like you could terra form a planet by carrying small buckets of water in back and forth trips from commets. Also artificial planets built by massive AI controlled robots produced in space will probobly be the most prevalent. KInda like a really advanced family van.



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 12:56 PM
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I know a lot of people would like to keep the neighboring planets as clean and sterile as possible, just in case there are any bits of life lurking around there we might be able to eventually find.

But I've always had a much more utilitarian opinion about it. I say that if we don't find life on Mars after 100 years or so, then we start working hard to terraform it as quickly as possible. Starting first with hearty microbes, lichens, mosses, and so on, then working our way up to building an entire ecosystem. It might not be easy to sustain since Mars has a lousy carbon cycle, but you got to start somewhere.

After that, we can start introducing floating bacteria into the atmosphere of Venus to break down that atmosphere and reducing the temperature there so it might be bearable. Of course, Venus's long rotational period would be a hard problem to solve. But one problem at a time.

Just as an intellectual exercise, of course. Human beings are built to live on Earth, and aside from perhaps a few tiny research stations, we'll never have any large-scale colonization of other planets. The best we'll ever maybe do is have our intelligent robot offspring exploring the galaxy in our place. Maybe.



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 01:42 PM
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reply to post by Donnie Darko
 

I think its a good idea, but suspect other technologies would be needed to speed up the process.
Perhaps we could use the same global warming methods from this planet on mars.



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 02:59 PM
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reply to post by LOLZebra
 


Plants would need a lot of CO2 to get started. The plants would then convert the CO2 to oxygen and nitrogen for us to breathe. The plants would be the first needed to terraform the planet and make it suitable for animal life. There are many hearty plants that could do well in a more hostile environment. As the environment gets more habitable, then the other plants and smaller animals can be introduced.

I do think terraforming Mars is possible, and they do have plans to transform Mars into a habitable place.



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 03:02 PM
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There is just one problem with this... most mushrooms live off of decaying matter... usually vegetable though some do parasitize animals... if there is nothing there for them to live on... how will they do what they do?

BTW fungi are NOT plants... they are their own kingdom and do NOT need CO2 to survive.

[edit on 13-4-2009 by grover]



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 03:11 PM
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Originally posted by grover
There is just one problem with this... most mushrooms live off of decaying matter... usually vegetable though some do parasitize animals... if there is nothing there for them to live on... how will they do what they do?

BTW fungi are NOT plants... they are their own kingdom and do NOT need CO2 to survive.

[edit on 13-4-2009 by grover]



maybe we could start with lichens.



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 04:01 PM
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The problem is still the same... what would they live on?

Terraforming is a nice idea but certain things have to be in place first.

(1) Is there any way we could increase Mars' rotation and as such its gravity? This is a key point... without a stronger gravity its atmosphere will continue to leak into space.

(2) And speaking of its atmosphere... is there any way to increase it enough to support life? It is interesting to note that its atmosphere is never brought up...

95.32% carbon dioxide
2.7% nitrogen
1.6% argon
0.13% oxygen
0.07% carbon monoxide
0.03% water vapor
trace neon, krypton, xenon, ozone, methane

Whereas Earth's atmosphere is:

78.1% Nitrogen
20.9% Oxygen
0.9% Argon
0.04% Carbon dioxide
0.1% Methane, Rare (inert) gases

Now look at the difference... CO2 is absorbed by plants which convert it to oxygen so Mars should be a ripe place for plant life except that its atmosphere density is a fraction of ours.

BUT before plants can grow they need something to grow on and this is true of fungi too so the first step before anything else can be done has to be done on the bacterial level first... and to seriously effect anything we would need to find a way to speed up the process so that it happens in dozens or hundreds of years as opposed to billions.



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 09:24 PM
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i think to build the atmosphere and oceans, we could mine the Asteroid Belt.



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 09:34 PM
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We seen how well the introduction of Cane toads in Australia went. Introducing species to foreign environments can often have unforeseen and very messy implications. Hopefully they will look into all the possibilities before just throwing a bunch of bacteria onto another planet.



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 09:35 PM
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Originally posted by king9072
We seen how well the introduction of Cane toads in Australia went. Introducing species to foreign environments can often have unforeseen and very messy implications. Hopefully they will look into all the possibilities before just throwing a bunch of bacteria onto another planet.


What happened there?



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 09:40 PM
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Originally posted by Donnie Darko
does anyone see any problems with this idea? or is it a go go?



It is a go-go but (big but) transporting lifeforms between worlds is a no-no. At least until we get a good idea about the life that is up there the consensus is likely to be leave it as is. The premise is very good and fungi will be very necessary for plants if they are anything like Earth bound plants. Most woody plants have a necessary relationship with fungi. Plants provide the sugar to the fungi and fungi complete the final breakdown of nutrients from the soil into carbon chains with various elements attached that the tree then uses for growth. I'm a little rusty on my mychorrizal relationships but that is what I recall. Fungi are also great at breaking down toxics in the soil.

suprised this is in skunk works.

btw: I have my plug spawn on order for 4 edible fungi which I will put in logs and harvest from time to time over several years. I have Oyster, #ake, chicken of the woods and a Reshi for healthy tea.

LOL@the automatic censor.

[edit on 13-4-2009 by mandroid]



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 09:47 PM
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What is Skunk Works?

and um true we would have to do a biocheck first.



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 10:11 PM
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