Earth’s toughest superbug can survive in space for 3 years

70 years ago, scientists discovered the existence of “Deinococcus radiodurans” in a high-dose gamma radiation disinfection experiment, which was later rated as the strongest microorganism on the surface by the Guinness World Records (water bears are the strongest organisms on the surface). Scientists then want to know how long it can survive in space. According to the report after being sent to the International Space Station, Deinococcus radiodurans can survive in space for nearly 3 years.

Deinococcus radiodurans (D. radiodurans) is an extremophile that is immune to radiation and can withstand up to 10,000 times the dose of radiation that kills humans and 15 times that of cockroaches, although D. radiodurans Each cell is cut into 1,000 to 2,000 DNA fragments under high doses of radiation, but it heals on its own within 24 hours.

So scientists naturally wondered what would happen if Deinococcus radiodurans migrated to outer space. In 2015, scientists sent dehydrated Deinococcus radiodurans to the International Space Station for experiments. After a year of radiation bombardment, severe temperature changes and a weightless environment experiment, they brought it back to Earth. Finally survived for up to 3 years.

Considering that Deinococcus radiodurans is resistant to overdose radiation, scientists believe that if this superbug can be genetically modified to evolve into digestible nuclear waste, it may one day become a solution to the nuclear waste problem.

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