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New ghost bacteria on the International Space Station may build a future on Mars

In mid-March, NASA The researchers announced that they had discovered an unknown life form on the International Space Station. They are pretty cool about it.

In fact, for an organization known for its complex public communication strategies (what I am saying is that Mars rover does not write their own tweets), everyone is quiet about this discovery.

almost and also Quiet.

Indeed, New Life is not an alien alien with acidic blood.It is a new type of bacteria, unknown on earth, but its genes have identified it from a familiar terrestrial genus, namely Methylobacterium. Usually, its members like to hang out among the roots of plants rather than on the walls of the space station. However, you would think that a space microorganism that may not be but may be evolving deserves more intimidation. But here we are. No one will be completely surprised-and why it can define the future of human space exploration.

As part of an ongoing research project on ISS microbial life, in 201

5 and 2016, astronauts wiped various parts of the station and sent used wet wipes to their homes. Over the next few years on Earth, a team of researchers from the Biotechnology and Planetary Protection Group headquartered at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory isolated microbes and sequenced their genes. One species found on the HEPA filter of the station’s life support system is a garden species (literally!). Methylobacterium rhodesia. However, three samples are new. Three samples come from the surface near the material research shelf, the wall near the “skylight” of the window, and the dining table of the astronaut.The researcher who ran the project named it Plasmodium Ehrliii.

It’s not even the first time these researchers have discovered new bacteria in space. They have found another completely unknown bacterium in that set of ISS samples-they published a paper on this bacterium in 2017. In a sense, these bugs are probably aliens, and they evolved on the station. But this is very thin. The strange thing is that they caught cargo or astronauts, and the microbial hunter only noticed them because they were looking for it all the time. “There is no doubt that space has opportunities for development, but the space station is still very young. Only 20 years old. The project’s JPL microbiologist Kasthuri Venkateswaran said that bacteria may not have evolved during this time.

Perhaps more interesting is to find out which bacteria on Earth are zero, but are heroes in the rare closed-loop environment of spacecraft. This is why studying the microbiome of the International Space Station (bacteria, fungi, and viruses that thrive on ships) is vital to the safety of missions to Mars or other permanent bases in the world. As on Earth, human health in space will depend in part on a healthy microbiome and a good relationship with the microbiome of ships or shelters. Venkateswaran said: “We can say that the novel species carried by the crew may have certain characteristics and can withstand the conditions there.” “The rest of the people may have died. These are things for survival.”

Space is really Quite unpleasant. Outside of a boat or vacuum suit, want to know whether you died of suffocation or freeze-drying first. (High-level hard radiation is more a disruptor of long-term transactions.)

Therefore, the interior of these containers and clothing must be a closed system. Only cargo and astronauts came and went. But wherever people go, they will carry microbes with them-internal organs, skin, nose and mouth. It’s right in your house, and it’s the same on the International Space Station. However, the International Space Station is not like your house, not only because it recycles air and water, but you also cannot open the windows. The air on the International Space Station is drier and has a higher carbon dioxide content. The radiation level is high. There is nothing to say. (“We are accustomed to leaving certain microorganisms on the floor, but if there is no floor, they will not stay on the floor,” said John Rummel, a former NASA planetary protection officer who is responsible for making Aliens are far away from the earth and life on earth in other places.) It does not smell very fresh in the International Space Station, and because it is full of corners and crevices, water droplets can float and adhere. Due to surface tension, it has many places where microorganisms can Hang out.

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