Want to breathe on Mars? This bacterium is the key

Before considering eating, drinking, sleeping on the new planet, there is a much more important problem: If we can't breathe, what kind of life do we live?

According to Futurism, we have a new hope in finding the source of oxygen for the Red Planet: cyanobacteria. This bacterium has the ability to absorb carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) and release oxygen in the "least friendly" living environments on Earth. On June 15, a group of scientists published their study in Science, linking these tiny microorganisms to the human viability of Mars.

Do you remember what photosynthesis is? That's how plants convert sunlight into energy. Cyanobacteria also produce energy by photosynthesis, but they can do this in much lower light conditions than you need to grow your tomato. In fact, scientists have found cyanobacteria in the deepest "nooks" of the ocean.

Picture 1 of Want to breathe on Mars?  This bacterium is the key
This creature has been found in areas with extremely harsh living conditions, so they will most likely live on Mars as well.

An important component of photosynthesis is chlorophyll . The vast majority of plants on Earth turn light into energy with chlorophyll a. Cyanobacteria are different, they use elemental chlorophyll f to convert distant red / near infrared light into energy. That's why they can live in less light environments like today.

"This study redefined the minimum energy source needed in light to activate photosynthesis , " study co-author Jennifer Morton said. "This type of photosynthesis may be happening right in your garden."

What is the goal of this study?We will be able to bring bacteria spread to Mars to produce oxygen for future "colonization" of human plans . This creature has been found in places with extremely harsh living conditions such as the Mojave, Antarctic desert and even outside of them, so they will most likely also live on Mars.

"This sounds like a sci-fi movie, but space agencies and companies around the world are actively looking for ways to make this aspiration a reality in the near future , " said co-author Elmars Krausz shared. "We can fully exploit these living creatures to create an atmosphere for humans to breathe on Mars."

Of course, we still have a long way to go to Mars, not to mention living there. But at least when we do that, having the air to breathe is no longer an important issue.

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