Earth Microbes Could Help Turn Mars Fit For Life
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Scientists believe sending earth germs to 'colonize' Mars could be beneficial for turning it into a planet fit for human life.
A new paper has suggested that releasing human microbes will initiate the process of terraforming the red planet and create an environment that can sustain life.
The team has suggested developing a process that involves screening promising microbes and discarding dangerous ones prior to releasing them on Mars, The Daily Mail reported.
The newly proposed idea comes from Microbiology Ecology, microbiologist Jose Lopez, a professor at Nova Southeastern University in Florida, along with colleagues W. Raquel Peixoto and Alexandre Rosado from Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, who are calling this new theory a “major revision”, George Dvorsky with Gizmodo reported.
The team wants NASA and other space agencies to send Earthly germs to Mars, with the hopes of taming the unpredictable climate on the planet and creating a livable surface.
A major argument by the researchers is that the prevention of contamination is a “near impossibility”, as the authors phrase it in the study.
However, space agencies have put specific protocols in place to prevent the contamination of other planets and experts have noted that more research needs to be done before we start polluting other worlds.
The idea of protecting celestial bodies dates back to the 1950s when the philosophy of planetary protection was created with a sole purpose of recommending and designing such protocols that protects space from Earthly microbes.
It argues that our germs can contaminate scientifically important areas of the solar system – similar to how a crime scene can be compromised if someone not involved touches evidence.
Although the idea of sterilization has been around for decades, Lopez and his team believe it is inevitable that our germs will make it to Mars and other planets.
“Mainly, microbial introduction should not be considered accidental but inevitable,” reads the paper published in FEMS Microbiology Ecology.