SAN FRANCISCO — In this video from ASM Microbe, Mark A. Schneegurt, PhD, professor in the department of biological sciences at Wichita State University, discusses his work investigating microbes that can grow and survive on Mars.
“One of the challenges we have on Mars is that it’s very dry, there’s not much in the way of liquid water, in part because it’s so cold,” Schneegurt said. “When we do have liquid water on Mars, it freezes. So, we’ve been looking at salty places, because salt will depress the freezing point of water, such that we can maintain liquid water down to a temperature of –70 degrees Celsius.”
However, he noted that there may be some implications of bringing life to Mars.
“If we bring the organisms with us, we’re not going to do a very good job of finding what’s there,” Schneegurt said. “We may find the things that we brought and believe that they came from Mars, or not be able to tell.”
Disclosure: Schneegurt reports no relevant financial disclosures.