(ORDO NEWS) — Without genetic engineering, the colonization of Mars may not be possible: the effects of radiation, bone-draining microgravity, and other dangers over the years will not endure the body of an ordinary person.
The hostile environment of Mars is unsuitable for a long stay of people on the planet, even if they will be on underground bases. Therefore, as in the case of the ISS, they will have to return to Earth. But if a person wants to live on the Red Planet permanently, while remaining healthy, some changes will be required in his DNA, experts say.
Genetic engineering should be used “if people want to live, work and prosper, start a family and stay on Mars,” says astrobiologist and geomicrobiologist Kenda Lynch of the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston.
Think it’s still a science fiction plot, like in the movie Titan? No. Scientists have already inserted genes for tardigrades (tardigrades) – tiny hardy animals that can live in a cosmic vacuum – in human cells. According to geneticist Christopher Mason of the Vale-Cornell School of Medicine at Cornell Medical University in New York, the new cells are highly resistant to radiation.
NASA and other space agencies are already taking steps to protect astronauts with special drugs. Thus, genetic transformation is not such a big leap in terms of the concept of the approach.
Genetic engineering will make it possible to populate Mars not only with humans, but also with plants and animals.
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