Earth bacteria could be cultivated on Mars

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posted on Mar, 6 2013 @ 08:13 PM
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Mars and Earth are very different places. Earth’s butterscotchy little brother is a dry and gelid little world. Among its other hazards are surface pressures approaching 1000 times lower than at Earth’s sea level, temperatures which can be low enough to freeze carbon dioxide, and practically no oxygen. Full of curiosity of their own, Wayne Nicholson and Andrew Schuerger, a pair of microbiologists based at the University of Florida, decided to see if certain Earth microbes could take some punishment

They didn’t choose just any old bacteria though. The microbes in question were taken from samples of Russian permafrost, collected over 12 meters (40 feet) below ground. These bacteria were first nurtured for 28 days in nutrient-rich dishes kept at normal Earth conditions. Then around 10,000 colonies of the bacteria were subjected to 30 days of conditions intended to mimic Mars, at temperatures of 0°C (32°F) and a pressure of just 7 millibars — the same pressure on the surface of Mars.

Schuerger and Nicholson, together with other colleagues, also performed a companion study to their experiments. They tested 26 species of bacteria commonly found living on spacecraft, subjecting them to the same harsh conditions. They found one species, Serratia liquefaciens, which managed to both survive and grow.

news.discovery.com...


Upon the success of these experiments there would probably a good chance for terra-forming Mars into a hospitable planet for the future human race to live on. Once that has been established then they can build lots of telescopes and shuttles ferrying mined ores back to Earth. It would be a good business to invest in.




posted on Mar, 6 2013 @ 08:19 PM
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I don't think the Martians will be to happy with us sending bugs to get them

Invest in something that will take many many years to do? how long will it take to terraform a whole planet? maybe invest for your great great great great grandkids.



posted on Mar, 6 2013 @ 08:26 PM
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Originally posted by boymonkey74
I don't think the Martians will be to happy with us sending bugs to get them

Invest in something that will take many many years to do? how long will it take to terraform a whole planet? maybe invest for your great great great great grandkids.


But thats my point. We, as of now have to invest in the future of our race, we owe it to ourselves not to become extinct. As a whole we are immortal genes. If we do this now then we shall grace the history books in a positive way. I am always thinking that far ahead.

And any Martians should be thankful because we will bring them gifts of Freedom and Democracy.



posted on Mar, 6 2013 @ 08:51 PM
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I seem to remember reading somewhere that terraforming Mars is just the stuff of Sci Fi because of the gravity on Mars and the lack of a magnetic field.

Found this

The minimum amount of atmospheric pressure that people need to live is about 1/2 that of normal Earth sea-level pressure. The amount of air needed to be delivered to Mars in order to have that pressure is about 2,193,000,000,000,000 U.S. tons (a little over 1/3 of all the air on Earth. Because of the weak gravitational pull on the surface of Mars, a thicker layer of air is needed than on Earth to attain the same pressure.)
► The gravitational pull on Mars is so little that if enough air were to be put in place (perhaps from comets or debris from Saturn's rings), it would leak off into space within a short time.

With the present Martian air pressure, water cannot remain in the liquid form needed for plants and animals. The Martian atmospheric pressure is only 0.6 % (1/159) of Earths. Of that tiny amount, only 0.13% is oxygen.


But hey I may be wrong ...darn it phage where are you when we need your wisdom.
We need a Phagesignal like Batman has



posted on Mar, 6 2013 @ 09:50 PM
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reply to post by boymonkey74
 


It's true that Mars would loose any air we give it to build pressure, but not as fast as you might think. It took a very long times (tens of millions of years, if not longer) for it to loose the thicker atmosphere it once had 4 billion years ago.

It's not just the low gravity. The gravity of Mars is strong enough to hold an atmosphere, however, it also has the solar wind striping it away because it no longer has a strong magnetic field like the Earth does.

If we could find a way to replenish the air pressure, all we would have to do is match the amount loss each year to maintain a balance.



posted on Mar, 6 2013 @ 10:20 PM
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Interesting experiment but...not really Mars like conditions except for the atmospheric pressure (unless they aren't telling us something).

It gets a lot colder than 0º on Mars.
They didn't actually mention the CO2 level used.
No mention of humidity levels.

No mention of radiation either, though 40 feet below ground that wouldn't be a problem.



posted on Mar, 7 2013 @ 02:58 AM
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reply to post by Phage
 


Wouldn't the gravity cause a problem for us also? It is around 38% that of earths so wouldn't this cause problems with our bodies?



posted on Mar, 7 2013 @ 06:55 AM
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Originally posted by boymonkey74
reply to post by Phage
 


Wouldn't the gravity cause a problem for us also? It is around 38% that of earths so wouldn't this cause problems with our bodies?


Good question!

The answer to that right now is: we don't really know.

We do know that our bodies have a problem with free fall and our bones begin to fall apart because of it, so we need gravity in that case.
Mars has 38% of Earth's gravity, so bone loss would not happen anywhere near as fast as it would if we were weightless. So that would be slowed down significantly.

However, again the question still remains: what if humans there are staying there? What would happen to developing fetuses during gestation with a pregnant woman? What would be the effect on developing children? Would they end up growing taller? Suffer from fragile bones?

We can theorize but we just don't have the answers right now.

I do know that there was a proposed experiment to send mice up in orbit in a special satellite that would spin to produce artificial gravity at the same level of Mars for an extended period:

Mars Mice

But as far as I know the study still has not be done.



posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 10:06 PM
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reply to post by Tindalos2013
 


How is 0C Mars like when Mars can easily reach -55C? They may as well have put the bacteria in a lush paradise and claimed "Mars like".



posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 10:14 PM
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What about the cosmic rays and energetic particles from the sun that continuously sterilize Mars' surface? Do the scientist have a species of bacteria that can survive rays that can penetrate 2 meters of water?



posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 10:16 PM
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reply to post by epsilon69
 

The bacteria they used live 40 feet underground. Cosmic radiation is not really a problem at that depth.



posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 10:28 PM
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Originally posted by boymonkey74
reply to post by Phage
 


Wouldn't the gravity cause a problem for us also? It is around 38% that of earths so wouldn't this cause problems with our bodies?


Of all the factors, gravity would be the smallest. You can easily work against problems such as muscle loss etc. with exercise equipment, at least to some extent. So..let's theorize that they build Mars stations where people can live, I don't see 38% gravity a MAJOR problem.

Don't forget, we DO actually know about the effects of low/zero gravity for decades already, astronauts are living in space stations with zero gravity for many months.



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 05:24 AM
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Originally posted by epsilon69
What about the cosmic rays and energetic particles from the sun that continuously sterilize Mars' surface? Do the scientist have a species of bacteria that can survive rays that can penetrate 2 meters of water?


There are bacteria or fungi that feed on radiation. There's a type of black mould that lives in the Chernobyl reactor. Tardigrades (tiny creatures living on Earth) have been shown to endure lethal dozes of radiation.

So I'm gonna say let's not underestimate the ability of life to adapt. And, as mentioned above, there can be many nooks and crannies where radiation doesn't reach.





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