Skip to comments.Colonizing Mars may require humanity to tweak its DNA
Posted on 05/20/2020 8:49:42 AM PDT by BenLurkin
Genetic enhancement may not be restricted to the pages of sci-fi novels for much longer. For example, scientists have already inserted genes from tardigrades tiny, adorable and famously tough animals that can survive the vacuum of space into human cells in the laboratory. The engineered cells exhibited a greater resistance to radiation than their normal counterparts...
Tardigrades and "extremophile" microbes, such as the radiation-resistant bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans, "are a great, basically natural reservoir of amazing traits and talents in biology," added Mason... "Maybe we use some of them."
Harnessing these traits might also someday allow astronauts to journey farther than Mars, out to some even more exotic and dangerous cosmic locales. For instance, a crewed journey to the Jupiter moon Europa, which harbors a huge ocean beneath its icy shell, is out of the question at the moment. In addition to being very cold, Europa lies in the heart of Jupiter's powerful radiation belts.
Genetic engineering almost certainly won't be restricted to pioneering astronauts and colonists. Recent advances in synthetic biology herald a future in which "designer microbes" help colonists establish a foothold on the Red Planet...
"These are some of the things that we can actually do to help us make things we need, help us make materials to build our habitats," she said. "And these are a lot of things that scientists are researching right now to create these kinds of things for our trip to Mars."
Some researchers and exploration advocates have even suggested using designer microbes to terraform Mars, turning it into a world much more comfortable for humans. This possibility obviously raises big ethical questions, especially considering that Mars may have hosted life in the ancient past and might still host it today, in subsurface lakes or aquifers.
(Excerpt) Read more at space.com ...
Resistance the radiation? I can finally walk through plutonium like I’ve always wanted to
Yeah. Space suits are soooooo 21st century. ;)
honestly, I’m not sure I would put colonizing mars near the top of my priority list.
Now there’s a great idea.....but be real...it’ll never happen.
What could possibly be found on Mars to make it worth Mankind’s effort to get there? I know engineers like to do these projects just to prove it is possible.
Like the old question to the climber:
Question..Why do you climb this mountain?
Answer..”Because it’s there.”
If it’s because some think we may need to evacuate Earth at some point, then let’s start ‘small’, beginning with our own Moon.
Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids.
In fact it’s cold as hell.
And there’s no one there to raise them, if you did.
Sounds like a great spot for Democrats .Their DNA is already altered .
Family planning advice from the Rocket Man.
Thank you Elton.
And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time...
Life support belts will be the craze.
Many science fiction writers got this correct—terraforming is the logical way to settle a new world.
If that is too expensive or not practical, then any other planet will just be a death trap.
All this science, I don’t understand.
It’s just my job, five days a week.
I'm not the man they think I am at all, oh no, no, no.....
There is a theory that Mars was once one of the moons of a large watery planet called Tiamat. Something caused that planet to ‘decompose’ sending its moons into sun orbits and a mass of water ‘splashed into one hemisphere of Mars causing the planet to tilt dozens of degrees and forming the distinct surface features of two hemispheres so different in contours. The theory goes on to imagine MArs was like a Disney land place for ‘a civilization’ to visit and marvel at.
My favorite micro-beast
“What could possibly be found on Mars to make it worth Mankinds effort to get there? I know engineers like to do these projects just to prove it is possible.”
Unclaimed real estate. When living underground (no DNA changes required, BTW) one can make one’s environment as ideal as desired. Which planet matters not at all except for the gravity level. (It may very well be that sleep and exercise quarters will need centrifuge acceleration on Mars if 1/3 gravity isn’t physiologically enough.)
New frontiers are looking awfully good given the state of things here on Planet Earth.
The reality is that untold wealth and opportunity lie beyond Earth’s boundaries. Our technology has just reached the point where we can begin exploiting it.
Nuclear powered spacecraft will really open things up.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.