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Strange creatures on Earth can live in space

21.01.2024 03:28 AM
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Strange creatures on Earth can live in space
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Strange creatures on Earth can live in space

Known for their remarkable resilience, lichens have proven their mettle in some of the harshest conditions on our planet and beyond. These organisms were able to show resilience to radiation levels more than 12,000 times the lethal dose for humans, and continued to carry out photosynthesis, even though their reproduction could be harmed. In contrast, bacteria exposed to the same simulated conditions died during experiments on Earth.

Lichens (or lichens) are exotic organisms, which are a compatibility between microscopic green algae (or cyanospores) and filamentous fungi. The relationship between them is symbiotic, where the algae carry out the process of photosynthesis and the fungus absorbs water and salts, thus achieving a balance in the collection of food between the two parties.

Although lichens tend to be unassuming to look at, they are so hardy that some can survive the harsh environment of space.

According to studies and experiments, when lichens were attached to the outside of the International Space Station for 18 months, they survived the vacuum of space, the lack of water, extreme temperatures, and the full attack of radiation and ultraviolet rays coming from the sun, and continued the process of photosynthesis.

Lichens preserved in a simulated Martian environment on Earth also survived and were active, raising the possibility of life on Mars, where the environment is extremely dry and cold, with low atmospheric pressure and radiation bombardment inhospitable to life as we know it.

These findings have raised speculation about lichens about their possible role in the “university” hypothesis, the hypothesis that the “seeds” of life are present throughout the universe, and that life on Earth may have come from those “seeds.” The results of the new study indicate that life spread through space through lichens found on meteorites, comets, or asteroids.

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