(ORDO NEWS) — The conditions on Mars are so deadly that even the most comprehensive plans to protect astronauts and future colonists still leave them exposed to dangerous levels of cosmic radiation and extreme environmental conditions.
That’s why the astronomer and microbiologist of the Lunar and Planetary Institute Kenda Lynch believes that space agencies should change the genes of future astronauts and colonists so that they can better adapt to life on the Red Planet, Space.com reports.
This is a provocative idea, but Lynch believes that it may be necessary to give the colonists the maximum chance of survival.
According to the astrobiologist, it would be better to edit the human genome, adapting it to Martian conditions, than to terraform the planet itself. Otherwise, settlers run the risk of destroying evidence of any natural ecosystems, past or present.
“How can we afford to change the planet before we know if life really was or is there?”
Lynch is not the first to propose changing the DNA of space colonists. In 2018, a team of researchers argued that genetic modification may be necessary if space settlers want to conceive children on Mars.
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