Thursday, January 28, 2016

Article of the Week

Mark Grove
Dr. Jones
Honors Bio
January 29
This article is very interesting, and talks about certain organisms that can survive on Mars. Because Mars has a very extreme environment, these microorganisms can only be found in the most extreme environments on Earth. The lichens and fungi that were tested in the "EXPOSE-E" project,  in which specimens were taken into space to be examined, were from Sierra de Gredos (Avila, Spain) and the Alps (Austria). Some were also from extreme environments on Antarctica. The results of this project concluded that around 60% of the cells remained in tact after being exposed to Martian conditions, and most DNA was unaltered.

In my opinion, this is a very amazing discovery, that organisms can survive on Mars, a planet that we know little about. I think that we should invest in sending some of these specimens to Mars to see how they react, and if they can survive and or adapt in Martian conditions. It would be very interesting to see if we could put life on Mars.

One quote that I found interesting was about conditions on Mars or "extreme space environment (with temperature fluctuations of between -21.5 and +59.6 ÂșC, galactic-cosmic radiation of up to 190 megagrays, and a vacuum of between 10-7 to 10-4 pascals)." This makes me wonder how much different Earth is from Mars and how different environments could affect organisms. Another quote that interested me was this: "The most relevant outcome was that more than 60% of the cells of the endolithic communities studied remained intact after 'exposure to Mars', or rather, the stability of their cellular DNA was still high," This makes me wonder how much data was collected and what it all means.

In conclusion, I thought that this was a very good article because it invoked my interest, and I only have one question: what does this discovery do for us and what exactly could we use it for?


  1. This article is very interesting. I wonder how organisms are able to live on mars even though there is said to be no living life forms up there.

  2. Wow! That is so cool! I wonder if that increases the possibility for "man on mars"?