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Бактерии построят дома на МарсеWhat can I do for microorganisms to mankind during the colonization of the planet Mars? In fact, many people: bacteria are able to deliver astronauts large amounts of oxygen, as well as sufficient food and building materials. Moreover, the latter ones they will use a very unusual raw materials - waste of human life.

When reading fantastic novels about colonization of other planets, we do not think of one simple question - where are cosmonauts take building materials for construction of their bases? Not with him also take space ship, no matter how big he was, still not rubber, and in space, as we know, every extra kilo may cause complications during entering the orbit and landing. Although, of course, the author could come up with such a substance that can be compressed to ultra-low volume, losing weight and then decompress (for example, when intake in themselves water) - his imagination, you know, is unlimited.

But the possibility of earth scientists and engineers so far, unfortunately, is not infinite. So when it comes to creating on Mars some semblance base that could serve as the home for staying there earthly astronauts, they just throw your hands. No doubt, such a framework is necessary, but what it can to build? The fact that on the red planet suitable for construction of earth technologies, materials not very much.

To bring them from the Earth, too, is unlikely to happen - unfortunately, at present there are quite a hard limit on the size of the spacecraft and the weight of what is inside him. However, you "to throw" Stroimaterialy to Mars in advance, but there is another problem - after all, their use will have on the planet, where temperature range, humidity and the force of gravity is different from those on Earth. Even if and to make such materials on the basis of theoretical calculations, how to test them on our planet? We are talking about the safety of the astronauts, so testing should take place in conditions as close to the Martian, and to create on the Earth is very difficult.

However, this task still has one of the original solution because you can send astronauts to the Red planet is not the building materials and equipment, which will make them. Moreover, this technique is very compact, and the weight of it very small - we are talking about a special genetically modified bacteria. Scientists engaged in such an interesting discipline as synthetic biology, believe that these microorganisms will help astronauts to make all the necessary materials, using only the raw materials, which people always carry, that is a waste of our life.

To use such an unusual "construction crew" suggested specialists in Microbiology from brown and Stanford University (USA), which are conducted by NASA Andre Bernier. The researchers drew attention to the soil bacterium Sporosarcina pasteurii, which is able to produce ammonium, using urea. By doing this simple work, it changes the pH of the surrounding environment with a neutral to alkaline, and if there are carbonates, they immediately turn into such conditions in the natural cement mortar (the so-called biochemist).

In order to test this hypothesis, the researchers conducted an interesting experiment. They took the bricks from the rocks, the most similar to Martian, settled between bacteria and giving them urea (good with it-we have never no problems). And what do you think - two weeks building blocks were tightly linked formed biochemists. When the resulting design was tested, it turned out that this cement has compressive strength equal to the concrete. That is constructed by using the building on the red planet will be very reliable and stable.

Furthermore, other experiments have shown that if you take the Martian soil to settle him in these bacteria and to regularly provide them with urea, you can get betonovedenie material from which, in turn, also can be used to make building blocks. In addition, this technology solves the problem of removal of human waste from the surface of Mars once the bacteria will transform them into building materials, for pollution of the environment will be possible not to worry.

However, the usual Sporosarcina pasteurii unlikely to survive on Mars, because it requires oxygen atmosphere and, of course, sugar. But this problem was solved - these substances will deliver it (and astronauts) other microorganism, cyanobacteria from the kind of Anabaena. It's the same in order to carry out required, only carbon dioxide and nitrogen, which are on the red planet have been available in abundance.

By the way, Anabaena may nice to settle down in Mars conditions, if only to protect her from UV radiation. However, for this approach even very thin layer of dust. But she has another drawback - a large part of the energy derived from its anaerobic metabolism, cyanobacteria directs own needs, and less - on the production of sugar. And that would fix it, microbiologists have modified the body - they introduced into its genome several genes in E. coli (Escherichia coli). As a result, the performance Anabaena has increased dramatically and, most interestingly, oxygen, she also began to give more.

So, as you can see, this alive "technology" will be able to solve the problems of construction and lifetime support of the Mars base. But before recommending these technologies astronauts, they will need to thoroughly test the automatic missions. And still make sure before that, in the absence of bacterial life on the red planet - just for introducing to Mars earthly bacteria, don't accidentally ruin "aboriginal"...
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