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Experiments reveal that algae can survive Mars-like environments-Xinhua

Experiments reveal that algae can survive Mars-like environments-Xinhua

BEIJING (Xinhua), Dec. 28, 2019 — Four experiments by Chinese researchers have shown that algae can survive on Mars-like conditions since 2019, giving hope that humanity might be able transform the barren planet into a green, earth-like one in the future.

According to a report by the Changjiang Daily in Wuhan, central China, the experiment took place in September. It involved algae being carried by a helium balloon up to 30,000m. The algae survived for four hours with low temperatures of minus 30 degrees Celsius and intense ultraviolet light.

The four experiments were conducted by the research team of the Institute of Hydrobiology of China Academy of Sciences in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of north China and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of northwest China.

The experiments proved that the algae are strong. However, further experiments are needed to determine if the species can grow on Mars. Wang Gaohong, a researcher with the Institute of Hydrobiology, stated that the species is not able to multiply on Mars.

Since the time that the first plant was created, algae have gradually improved and changed the Earth’s environment. Director of the Chinese Society of Phycology Liu Yongding believes algae are essential for the origin and evolution of all species.

Algae are the primary producers of the earth’s biosphere. They account for between 30-40 percent of all life and play an important role in maintaining stability of the biosphere.

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Liu stated that Mars is very similar to Earth in terms of conditions. Algae may be useful for human exploration on the red planet.

Professor Xiao Long of the China University of Geosciences stated that it is important to test the effects of intense radiation coming from outer space onto algae because the experiments will be crucial in taking algae to Mars.

Xiao said that Mars’s atmosphere has several times the amount of carbon dioxide as Earth. Algae are carbon dioxide-consuming plants that produce oxygen that is useful for other species. Enditem

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