General, Research, Technology

Future explorers of Mars may cause the emergence of new viruses

A new virus called SARS-CoV-2 is onethe very coronavirus that caused the recent outbreak of a dangerous disease called COVID-19. While the World Health Organization is trying to find an effective way to treat the disease, NASA is working hard on a mission plan, which will subsequently allow the creation of a delivery system for departures from one of the planets closest to Earth - Mars. According to an article published on livescience.com, space souvenirs that future colonists of the Red Planet will send to Earth can be a danger to the fragile biosphere of the Earth. And the reason why the “Martian premises” can be deadly is directly related to the spreading virus on the planet.

Viruses mutated on Mars can be extremely dangerous for humans

Viruses on mars

As you know, coronavirus SARS-CoV-2,which marked the beginning of 2020, is a mutation of a very familiar virus that causes influenza or ARI. Coming into new conditions for themselves, viruses usually try to adapt to their environment, thereby strengthening and becoming more resistant to the use of antiviral agents. In the case of SARS-CoV-2, the bat organism became such an “amplifier”, while on Mars or the Moon microorganisms can obtain new properties due to unusual climatic conditions, characteristics of the local atmosphere or its pressure.

See also: Martian colonists will use a laser to communicate with the Earth

When in 1973 Karl Sagan published a book“Cosmic connection. Extraterrestrial perspective, ”he offered his vision for Martian pathogens. So, according to the opinion of an authoritative scientist, on Mars there may also be own bacteria that pose a potential threat to humans. Being accidentally transferred to the earth's environment, such microorganisms can provoke a real biological war, since earthly organisms have not had any protection against Martian pathogens for 4.5 billion years. Although the likelihood of such an outcome of events may be very small, the danger of one day becoming infected with the “Martian coronavirus” among humanity still exists.

Martian viruses can cause an epidemic against which humanity will be defenseless

Can I get the virus from Mars?

John Rummel, Senior Research Fellow, InstituteSETI in California believes that in order to prevent the “War of the Worlds” scenario from becoming a reality, humanity needs to carefully consider the system for processing and transporting Martian samples. However, even in this case, we cannot be completely confident in our own security. So, if the Martian pathogens are similar to the coronavirus already mentioned above, a long incubation period of a gradually manifested infection can adversely affect the spread of the virus around the planet.

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Similarly, earthlyorganisms on Martian life, if any, of course, is there. In addition to the genocide of local living organisms, terrestrial pathogens can trigger a climate change on the Red Planet. So, even the slightest awkward impact on the environment of Mars can lead to extremely unpredictable consequences: an astronaut, inadvertently leaving only a few bacteria from his spacesuit on the surface of the fourth planet from the Sun, risks becoming the culprit of a real Martian apocalypse that can destroy the local ecosystem.