Scientists warn that the increased human exploration of space may lead to the risk of viruses and microorganisms from outer space invading Earth.
The idea of planetary contamination by extraterrestrial microorganisms is not new, but the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has raised concerns about epidemiological security on Earth.
Continued advances in space exploration may pose a risk of alien micro-organisms, according to an article in the journal BioScience on November 17. Anthony Ricciardi of McGill University emphasized that because biological intrusion poses a great threat to resources and human health, humanity needs to study, evaluate more thoroughly and come up with solutions across borders. world to deal with this threat in a timely manner.
The threat doesn’t seem far away, Ricciardi noted, because despite precautions, experts have still discovered and isolated “strains of bacteria that are extremely resistant to ionizing radiation.” , high dehumidification and sterilization process in the cleaning room of the US Space Agency (NASA)”.
Mr. Ricciardi and his colleagues suggest greater collaboration between scientists, specialized agencies around the world, and mobile, real-time DNA sequencing technologies and database systems. on known contaminating microorganisms, which can facilitate rapid responses.
According to an earlier study, published in the scientific journal Astrobiology, the virus can exist on extrasolar planets as well as on other planets in the solar system. Astronomers from the US and Japan theorize that virions, viral particles composed of nucleic acids and proteins, could easily be ejected from the atmospheres and attached to other celestial bodies in the universe.
Most likely virions were thrown into space due to their small size and large number. Or they could reach Earth via meteorites.
Scientists have long demonstrated that phages can survive in vacuum conditions and cosmic ionizing radiation. Similar processes are likely to occur on other, habitable planets. Scientists say that the appearance of viruses is inevitable on planets with living organisms.
To date, there are no scientific tools capable of detecting viruses on outer space objects, due to the lack of biological identifiers common to them. The scientists proposed the use of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) for this process, whereby the presence of virions and their unique morphological features could be determined. However, due to its large size and weight, TEM is difficult to install on spacecraft.