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Learning DNA repair from Halobacterium -- a microbe

Posted by gang.li on May 11, 2016 at 5:05 PM



In 2004, NASA scientists have known that Halobacterium has a surprising ability to repair its DNA. It do so by having more than 400 genes related to DNA-repair.  The following article explains some fundamentals of Halocacterium in DNA repairing.

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2004/10sep_radmicrobe/


Some high shool researchers (yes, I mean high school!) in California (Earth to Sky Calculus) has examined how halobacteria behave at high altitude. They fly these microbes onboard helium balloons that can reach altitude as high as 116,524 feet fro sea level. They did this in June 7th, 2014.   From the News at SpaceWeather.com dated on June 13th,  "...During the June 7th flight, onboard sensors registered temperatures as low as -60 C, air pressures of 1% sea level, and cosmic radiation levels 25 times Earth-normal. Those are conditions akin to the planet Mars. Three hours after they were launched, the bacteria landed in the Death Valley National Park: snapshot. This means they experienced a 100 C swing in temperature, a 100-fold change in air pressure, and a 25-fold surge of radiation...."

Subsequent analyses on, e.g., survival rates, and  possible mutations among the halo-survivors can be crucial for future Mars missions.

These activities has led to an article by Wendel, J. published on EOS in 2015, "Can microbes survive multiple trips into the stratosphere?, Eos, 96, doi:10.1029/2015EO027827. Published on 9 April 2015."






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