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Space Science

Bacteria From Beer Lasts 553 Days In Space 138

An anonymous reader writes "Some specific bacteria colonies from Beer (the place, not the beverage) left for several days outside the ISS actually survived extreme temperatures, UV and other radiations, lack of water and all the like. They were later brought back to Earth for examination: such resistant bacteria may be the base of life support systems or bio-mining on colonies off Earth, and of course for terraforming, eventually. No clue in the article about how dangerous those bacteria might have become after the exposure or when they'll start eating their examiners."
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Bacteria From Beer Lasts 553 Days In Space

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23, 2010 @01:15PM (#33343768)

    This Beer only smells like piss.

  • Re:The trick... (Score:5, Informative)

    by jwinster ( 1620555 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @01:28PM (#33343990)
    TFA mentions that these were not spores, spores have been known to live for years in space, but rather that these were cyanobacteria (photosynthesizing bacteria) that survived, and this is the longest that bacteria of this type have been known to survive.
  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @01:32PM (#33344046) Homepage

    cross contamination between planets happens a lot more than every few billion years. The rock they found in the arctic has only been on earth for a few thousand years.

  • by shadowrat ( 1069614 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @01:34PM (#33344086)
    They made a garbage dump in space a LONG time ago. It's called Earth.
  • Pff, bacteria... (Score:4, Informative)

    by wienerschnizzel ( 1409447 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @01:55PM (#33344448)
    Pff, bacteria... A couple years ago we had animals survive the outer space - [] . It was just for 10 days but nobody is sure how long they really can survive - they can enter some kind of stasis state where they don't need water for decades.
  • by peter303 ( 12292 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @02:13PM (#33344754)
    That is life originated elsewhere in the universe and spread through it over the eons. To some scientists the machinery of life appears so complicated that it could rarely arise despite quadrillions of earth-like planets. Spreading between the stars after one likely instance would be more likely.

    Limited panspermia states life arose once in the solar system and infected every other suitable place: Earth, Mars, Io, Titan, etc., through rare meteor collisions.
  • by slyrat ( 1143997 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @02:45PM (#33345254)

    I remember in my BioII class we were given an 'experiment' to flip a penny one hundred times and record the results. We were the only group that did not record 50% heads and 50% tails. Our professor insisted that we had made a mistake, and that with this 'large' number of flips we would have absolutely reached 50%.

    Well with coin flipping there can be huge variance on the 50-50 depending on the coin and how it is caught or where it lands. Here is an article [] I found about it that references some research into it.

  • Proofreading? (Score:4, Informative)

    by VirginMary ( 123020 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @02:57PM (#33345412)

    Since I am not a native speaker of English, I can only speculate but "Bacteria From Beer Lasts 553 Days in Space" sounds very strange to me, shouldn't it be "Bacteria From Beer Last 553 Days in Space"? I mean "bacteria" is the plural of "bacterium" after all!

  • by peter303 ( 12292 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @03:02PM (#33345494)
    olsmeitser writes
    "The evolution of life on earth is fairly well documented."

    The origin of life is different from its subsequent evolution. Far less is known about it. Paleo-biochemists have focused on creating the fundamental six-chemical citric-cycle from raw chemicals and have lots of difficulties. Robert Hazen has wonder Teaching Course volume on the Origin of Life which spends a couple hours on this topic, which I strongly recommend listening to.
    Craig Venter's synthetic biology experiments hint the minimal survivable life configuration is about 400 genes and 2000 chemicals. He has been systematic deleting genes and chemicals from the simplest known cells to see what the minimum must be before death.

    Also writes: "unless the bacteria have evolved warp drive there really is no realistic way it could spread to other star systems"

    Life has been found buried deep in the earth six miles down. It may not have had contact with general biosphere for tens of millions of years. This suggest that modestly sized rocks may behave as interplanetary "arks" even if they take millions of years to traverse solar systems.
  • by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Monday August 23, 2010 @07:00PM (#33348600)

    Do we have to go over this again, retards?

    I have two kids.
    One is a boy.

    What is the probability the other is a boy?

    You, as an observer, are NOT guessing about the outcome of events. BB BG GB GG does not apply.

    BB(1), BB(2), BG(1), GB(2) applies.
    BB(1) = There are 2 boys and he revealed the first one.

    You MUST consider the possible premutations of children AND the various options of revealing information.

    The above 4 cases are the only cases which could be true in the given situation. BG(2), GB(1), GG(1), and GG(2) are not possible.

    Count them up. 2 out of 4 cases involve 2 boys. 50%, as expected.

    Information is being revealed to you - you may or may not be predicting genders of future children. You may or may have been told the gender of existing children. All you know is the possible permutations of 2 children and the piece of information given to you.

    This case is NOT equivalent to "Given 2 children, given at least one is a boy, what are the odds both are boys?". The revealing of information about a set is NOT the same as stating given conditions. It does NOT matter if the revealed information and given conditions both result in the same exact subset of possibilities.

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger