PAPER REVIEW

 

The paper review is about the experiment on life on planet Mars in the efforts to justify if truly the planet can support life like our mother earth. To corroborate the argument or believe by various scientist across the world scientist from Europe decided to use some organic matter in the name of Fungi and Lichens an experiment title EXPOSE-E and after a period of 18months the organism were brought back and analyzed accordingly that is according to the research group.

The assumption that the planet Mars could support life was arrived at due to the presence of key components of life supporting mechanism which included water which therefore justifies the assumption. It is important though to note that various aspects were under investigation when the experiment LIFE was conducted in mars and this included climate change, temperature variation and magnetic radiation and these conditions were found to be favorable only for a short period of time and that long exposure to these adverse conditions may cause a lot of damage. The research was however to prove if by any changes Mars can support life though I would critically question the harsh conditions which include high UV radiations that could be so damaging to human life I therefore think Mars is not ideal for supporting life and if by chance this is going to change then I think it will not be any time soon. Fungi was picked for this research because of its good properties to survive severe conditions as proved when they were exposed to conditions in Antarctica.

 

 

 

It was however found that after 18 months in mars the fungi which were from Antarctic managed to retain about 60% of its cell meaning the survival rate was higher and therefore much of its DNA was stable. During this experiment of life which is also referred to as experiment LIFE a lot of factors were analyzed and this include temperature which was found to fluctuate from time to time from as high as 200C to about -1530C , cosmic radiation was also another factor and lastly the UV radiation. Lichens just like fungi though from Spain and Australia also showed survival rate in mars to be of high consideration since they were able to withstand this harsh conditions.  It is important to also note that similar fungi and lichens were exposed to similar conditions on earth and they were able to show high metabolic rate compared to the ones taken to mars something that I think shows how much work the scientist still have in the attempt to prove that life can be supported on planet mars just as it can be here on earth but it is important as well to appreciate the fact that the rate of growth of life shown by both fungi and lichens was high given the big amount of carbon dioxide and UV radiations that they experienced. These organism as seen in the Antarctic survive by finding a way into the cracks on rocks therefore reducing the adverse conditions.

 

 

 

By obtaining this kind of result from experiment life I think it goes deeply into our hearts how much we have placed ourselves in the middle of finding or proving that we can as well find life in mars to be fully supported. Getting a survival chance was a big deal let alone if it is only for a specific period of time. The prove that these organism were able to stay alive for that specific period of time and managing to maintain up to 35% of its DNA fully intact and even grow gives scientist a reason to believe in finding ways to moderate these conditions or even create a way that life can be supported on Mars.

I however would like to note the fact that fungi and lichens are not from either plats nor animal organism therefore it would not be an understatement for me to point out that I still feel there is lack of support for healthy growth of life for organic matter. As for now am justified to say that life on Mars is way from reach and it may never really support real life in the long run but if by any chance the planet earth was in the same condition billions of years back then may be sometime in the future might turn up right.

Results from the experiment life is part of the essential records that scientist would find pride in keeping so as to use it as a guidance to evaluate their next experiment as they dig deep to find answers to resolve their discovery questions about life and how it came to existence. The same team are currently working on a new EXPOSE which they claim will focus on exposing fungi and lichens to more time.

 

 

 

 

REFERENCE

Onofri, S. Vera, J. P. Zucconi, L. Selbmann. L. Scalzi, G. Venkateswaran, K. J. Rabbow, E. Torre, R. Horneck, G. (2015) Antartic fungi survive Martian conditions on the International Space Station. Astrobiology. 15,12

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