Study Says Life On Mars Will Have Fungus: Can Space Travelers Risk Infection?

Study Says Life On Mars Will Have Fungus: Can Space Travelers Risk Infection?


Study Says Life On Mars Will Have Fungus: Can Space Travelers Risk Infection?

There is a fungus between us wherever we go, even in March, so scientists studying fungi in space habitats to better understand how these microorganisms affect astronauts on a mission to Mars or a space colony.

They used an inflatable habitat with similar conditions to the International Space Station – though on Earth, which simulates the type of closed system that astronauts would live on the Moon or Mars, with air seepage.

While students occupied habitat for 30 days, researchers collected fungal samples to find environmental species, as well as pathogens that can infect humans

According to his study in the journal Microbiology, the “community of mushrooms” has become more diverse in the human room. Therefore, it is essential to properly maintain a closed habitat to preserve, deteriorate and secure its inhabitants. ”

The research was carried out in parallel with other studies on how humans react to an environment confined in the physical health plan as well as psychological and behavior.

Samples were taken at locations throughout the habitat throughout the experiment. Some of the most abundant mushrooms collected are known to trigger allergies and asthma.

And because previous research has shown that the immune system of astronauts behave differently in space, the crew could face serious health risks. If stress causes a decrease in the immune response in space travelers, they might be more likely to be pathogens.

“Understanding the microbiome of a closed system and its association with human presence help assess the correlation between human health and microbiome habitat,” the study says.

Cleaning procedures could be implemented as a safety measure during a Mars colonization or other space travel, and in fact, researchers point out that weekly cleaning in their habitat model includes antibacterial wipes and could have affected fungal samples that They could pick it up.

Scientists sampled habitat type fungi from a habitat because a team of students has lived and worked for 30 days to determine how fungal populations change during their stay. Photo: microbioma

However, mushrooms tend to be robust, so they present a challenge: “Fungi are extremophiles that can survive harsh conditions, such as low nutrient content, drying, / low temperatures, high acid / alkali, radiation and Other environments, “according to research.

“Fungus species were not only isolated from any known Earth environment, including drylands such as deserts, caves or at sites of nuclear accidents, but we know that other types of environments are difficult to eliminate, including domestic spaces And closed. ”

Even those of the fungal community, known as the mycobiome, which is not known to cause a fatal infection, can cause problems.

A report by the publisher BioMed Central has explained that one of the collected mushrooms is a common external body and, although they often cause infections in humans, it could trigger an asthma attack especially in a person whose immune system Has been weakened during a space travel.

It would require a protected habitat for all predictable space missions due to conditions on other planets and moons.

Although the atmosphere on Mars was breathable, the air is too fine to withstand human respiration, even if it is not obstructed by dust. And all the water on Mars has disappeared long from the surface, putting a barrier to the dwelling.

The next step is to understand why mushroom populations in a closed habitat change as they do.

“A thorough knowledge of viable mycobiome will develop required maintenance and cleaning procedures in a closed habitat … and prevent it from deteriorating and becoming a danger to the health of its inhabitants,” said corresponding author Kasthuri Venkateswaran of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Of NASA, said in the statement BioMed central.

“However, to demonstrate that increased diversity of fungi is the result of human presence, will also be studied occupants myco-biomes.”

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