Genetically modified bacteria can produce oxygen on Mars

Despite the fact that prior to the first mission to Mars is still far away, and colonization of the red planet while we can only dream of, scientists have been developing various options of how to equip the fourth planet from the Sun. The main problem with Mars is the lack of oxygen. To solve this problem there were various options, but one of the most interesting recently suggested by scientists from the UK. They propose to colonize a planet with special bacteria that “do it yourself”.

The development cost experts from Exeter University. As informs edition Daily Mail, a group of researchers relied on data about what’s in the Martian soil were found in the special salts that can be processed specially bred bacteria. One of the by-products is oxygen. A connection that is primarily affected by bacteria, is called perchlorate, and, according to available information, it is about 1% of the Martian soil, which is quite a lot.


The Petri dish in which to carry out the experience on processing of perchlorate

After the interaction with perchlorate, bacteria decomposes it into its component parts, and the oxygen released during the reaction, can easily be collected. As stated by the main supervisor of the project, Professor John Love,

“Our project was initially inspired by two things: bioremediation (the introduction of bacteria to the consumption or destruction of water sources) and space exploration. We found a connection between these two areas in the perchlorate, which was discovered on the red planet. Perchlorate can potentially be the key to ensuring that people were able to breathe on Mars. The topsoil of Mars is one percent of the perchlorate, and although perchlorate salts are toxic to humans, we believe its use is appropriate.”

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