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Oct 28, 2022

‘Conan the Bacterium’ Has What It Takes to Survive on Mars

Posted by in categories: futurism, space

“If Martian life ever existed, even if viable lifeforms are not now present on Mars, their macromolecules and viruses would survive much, much longer,” says study lead author Michael Daly, a pathologist at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, in a statement. “That strengthens the probability that, if life ever evolved on Mars, this will be revealed in future missions.”

Mars is an exceedingly hostile place. The planet’s surface is dry and frozen, and cosmic radiation and solar protons are constantly bombarding it. But that may not have always been the case—scientists believe water flowed on Mars between 2 and 2.5 billion years ago, which would’ve made the planet slightly more hospitable.

Researchers were curious to know what kind of life might have evolved—and, potentially, survived into the present—on the Red Planet. To attempt to answer that question, they mimicked the cold, arid conditions of Mars here on Earth with six species of microorganisms.

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