Antarctic fungi in Mars conditions

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Antarctic fungi have been found to survive in conditions similar to those on Mars. In preparation for life-detection experiments on Mars, scientists have conducted studies using terrestrial organisms that can grow in extreme conditions. Antarctic fungi, such as Cryomyces antarcticus and Cryomyces minteri, are among these organisms. These fungi are known as cryptoendolithic, meaning they live within rock cracks, which allows them to survive in harsh environments113. In one study, samples of these fungi were exposed for 18 months to a simulated Martian atmosphere of 95% carbon dioxide, as well as high levels of ultraviolet and cosmic radiation. The researchers found that less than 10% of the samples divided and formed colonies after their exposure. However, up to two-thirds of the cells remained intact and yielded stable DNA3. In another experiment conducted on the International Space Station, Antarctic fungi were exposed to Mars-like conditions for 18 months. More than 60% of their cells remained intact, with stable DNA10. These findings suggest that certain types of fungi, particularly those adapted to extreme conditions like those found in Antarctica, could potentially survive in the harsh conditions on Mars. This research could inform future searches for evidence of life on Mars1310.
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