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Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Microbes can survive in the thin air around Mars

The Red Plant "Mars" (Image: Pixabay)

Microbes that rank among the best and most ancient organisms on Earth that may survive the extraordinarily nothingness of Mars, a new research study came front.

The Martian surface is presently cold and dry, however there's lots of proof suggesting that rivers, lakes and seas coated the terrestrial planet billions of years agone. Since there's life just about where there's liquid water on Earth, scientists have steered that life may need evolved on Mars once it absolutely was wet, eventually life might be there even currently.

“In all the environments we find here on Earth, there is some sort of microorganism in almost all of them,” said Rebecca Mickol, an astrobiologist at the Arkansas Center for Space and Planetary Sciences at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, and she is also the lead author of the study. “It’s hard to believe there aren’t other organisms out there on other planets or moons as well.”

The research was published in the journal Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres.

In this recent set of experiment which made them work for an year where microbes are grown in test tubes within liquids as creating an environment like liquids potentially flowing underground Martian aquifiers. Microbes were fed hydrogen gas, and also the liquids were lined with cotton swabs, that successively were lined with dirt simulating what may well be found on the Martian surface. The insides of every tube were then subjected to low pressures.

“Oxygen kills these methanogens (methane producing bacteria), and maintaining a low-pressure, oxygen-free environment was a difficult task,” Mickol said. “Moreover, water evaporates quickly at low pressure, which can limit how long the experiments can last and can also clog the vacuum system with water.”

Despite these issues, the researchers found that these methanogens all survived exposure of lengths variable from three to twenty one days at pressures all the way down to roughly six-thousandths of Earth’s surface pressure. These experiments show that for a few species, lower air mass might not extremely have any impact on the survival of the organism.

The scientists also measuring methane to envision whether or not methanogens are actively growing at lower preassure and manufacturing methane. Since methanogens grow mostly everywhere from guts of cattle to dead decaying organic matter. Previously most of the old and present microorganisms on Earth produced methane.

“The next step is to also include temperature,” Mickol said. “Mars is very, very cold, often getting down to -100ºC (-212ºF) at night, and sometimes, on the warmest day of the year, at noon, the temperature can rise above freezing. We’d run our experiments just above freezing, but the cold temperature would limit evaporation of the liquid media and it would create a more Mars-like environment.”


Source: Astro Biology
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