Scientists have warned of a potential “alien invasion.”
The risk doesn’t come from extraterrestrials arriving in their spacecraft but from bacteria hitching a ride home on ours…
Photo via The Mirror
According to NewsWeek, McGill University researcher Anthony Ricciardi warns that our increased activity beyond the limits of Earth’s atmosphere brings with it the danger of micro-bacterial contamination.
Authors of Bioscience address the risk of biological contamination from space and highlight the need for biosecurity measures to limit the threat.
They point out that despite considerable microbial caution among space agencies “bacterial strains exhibiting extreme resistance to ionizing radiation, desiccation and disinfectants” have been discovered in NASA clean rooms used for spacecraft assembly.
Scientists also warn that extreme radiation-resistant microorganisms that can survive extreme conditions of space could jeopardize sample return missions, and could even ruin our chance of detecting life elsewhere in the solar system.
The risk may seem negligible because alien and bacterial life hasn't been discovered yet, however, researchers have discovered strains of bacteria in space completely unknown to Earth.
Photo via Space.com
They also added such biological invasions could be compared to extreme natural or technological disasters such as major earthquakes or nuclear meltdowns. This is because though rare such “invasions” could have dangerous consequences.
The authors also point out that such “alien” invasions aren’t unheard of, unspoiled regions of our planet have been contaminated by excursions from other regions.
Ahh, sounds scary! What do you guys think of this?
By: Aishah Akashah Ahadiat