Mold can withstand doses of radiation that kill man

From the very beginning of space stations, on their inner surfaces began to be detected microorganisms, including fungi. For example, at the station "Mir" penicillium mold spores kind have been found in large quantities, which in terrestrial conditions are usually formed in the food. It is believed that some of them can cause corrosion of aluminum alloys, but the more they are dangerous in space, is still unknown. Nevertheless, they are a danger to equipment that can be used in the colonization of Mars - researchers from the German Aerospace Center have shown that they survive even at extreme levels of radiation.

Mold can withstand doses of radiation that kill man

The discovery was made in the course of the experiment where a group of scientists under the direction of Martha Cortez put the fungal spores in conditions similar to outer space conditions. They were subjected to X-ray and ultraviolet radiation and monitored how their growth proceeds. It was found that the mold is able to survive even after the absorption of 500 Gy of radiation - it is hundreds of times higher than the lethal dose for humans. In the case of ultraviolet ray spores survived power 3000 Joules per square meter.

are exposed to mold?

According to Martha Cortez, mold resistant to radiation may interfere with the long-term space missions. For example, as mentioned above, it can contribute to corrosion, and output equipment failure. Accordingly, the space agency employees will have at least to thoroughly clean the inside and outside part of the ship, considering the high survivability of mold.

Mold can withstand doses of radiation that kill man

spores Penicillium

In addition to problems with the equipment, certain types of mold can affect the health of the astronauts themselves. For example, the International Space Station have fungal spores Aspergillus fumigatus and Rhodotorula mucilaginosa were found, which can cause infections in people with weakened immune systems. Besides courage of radiation, fungi also are not afraid of chemicals and high temperatures.

At the moment, scientists have no effective means of combating resistant mold species, but they are probably already developing them.

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