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Unique microbe could thrive on Mars, help future manned missions

Unique microbe could thrive on Mars, help future manned missions

Science
June 18 (UPI) -- New research suggests certain cyanobacteria could thrive on Mars. The microbes could even be used to provide future space colonies with oxygen. "This might sound like science fiction, but space agencies and private companies around the world are actively trying to turn this aspiration into reality in the not-too-distant future," Elmars Krausz, chemistry professor at Australian National University, said in a news release. "Photosynthesis could theoretically be harnessed with these types of organisms to create air for humans to breathe on Mars." Cyanobacteria are the only photosynthetic prokaryotes capable of producing oxygen. They're the most abundant ground of bacteria on the planet and have colonized Earth since as early as 2.5 billion years ago. Several cyanobacteria h...