Space-Bugs!

Published Date
04 - Mar - 2009
| Last Updated
04 - Mar - 2009
 
Space-Bugs!

Russian and Japanese scientists have once again managed to prove that we could in-fact be aliens ourselves! In a new experiment called ‘BioRisk’, to test the possibility of life surviving in the harsh conditions of outer space, the scientists subjected the larva of the African Bloodworm mosquito to the cruel environment of outer space. The experiment showed that the larvae had enough resilience to survive for as long as 18 months in the harsh conditions and total vacuum of outer space.

The African bloodworm mosquito larvae develop only in humid environments, since rains are rare in Africa and almost any remaining water after one dries up instantly; the larvae has adapted to such condition by going into suspended animation.

In 2007, the Russian scientists Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Kotov placed on the outer surface of the International Space Station, a grey cylinder having 24 cups containing barley seeds, bacteria, various organic substances along with the larvae. 18 months later this was brought back to Earth by cosmonauts Sergei Volkov and Oleg Kononenko. The larvae were found to be alive, and in their words ‘kicking’, proving the possibility that the very seeds of life could have originated far from Earth, and brought here subsequently in the early days of our planet as the result of an asteroid / meteorite collision. This would also mean that the ‘seeds’ of life could be spread all over the universe, and life could possibly exist somewhere ‘out there’!

To give you an idea of the ordeal the larvae went through, the temperature in outer space varies anywhere between 600 degrees and -150 degrees Celsius, varying from sunlight to shade, there is total vacuum, and a plethora of cosmic radiation of all frequencies!

In an earlier experiment the larvae managed to survive being sprayed with acetone, boiled, and subsequently being cooled to 210 degrees Celsius below zero (the temperature of liquid nitrogen, enough to destroy the Terminator!).

Thanks to scientists like these, we are getting closer and closer to discovering our origins, and the mysteries of how life originated. Although if there is indeed life out there as advanced as us. I hope they treat us better than we treated these mosquitoes!

Source: The Hindu

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