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Mars Earth Space Science

Homemade 'Mars In a Bottle' Tortures Bacteria 154

astroengine writes "The only time we've ever directly looked for life on Mars was during the 1970s, when NASA's Viking landers attempted to make direct measurements of Martian microbes metabolizing. Even today, the results of these groundbreaking experiments are hotly debated. Although the Viking experiments were often considered premature, a team of scientists hope to refine the next life-searching experiment to be sent to the Red Planet by building a Mars habitat on Earth. Imagine a Mars environment 'goldfish bowl' complete with UV radiation, dust, chilly temperatures, and an extremely low atmospheric pressure. So what have they done with this micro-Mars environment? They've been torturing various terrestrial microbes to see how they enjoy stints on the Martian surface. Their results have shown that even Earth microorganisms have a trick or two up their sleeves to survive in this alien environment."
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Homemade 'Mars In a Bottle' Tortures Bacteria

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  • I imagine animal protection groups will be all over this in no time. They are probably planning bomb attacks as we speak.
  • I for one welcome our new Mars-hardened bacterial overlords.
  • Torture? (Score:5, Funny)

    by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Friday June 24, 2011 @05:19AM (#36552640) Homepage
    So, since when is it OK to torture living things? What the fuck? When did this shit happen? Why is this not being shut down immediately? Let's get the activists on the job, and notify the lawyers. We've got work to do, people.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      It's bacteria. Products which torment and slaughter bacteria by the hundreds of trillions in a single shot are available over the counter.
    • by jovius ( 974690 )

      Imagine the daily torture of oxygene and water the humans have to endure. Each day to live to just live one day less.

    • by Arlet ( 29997 )

      I suppose you never clean anything either. Imagine torturing those poor bacteria with soap.

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      Well, bacteria are prokaryotes, so it's outside PETA's bailiwick.

    • I agree, we need to expand our horizons and not be so kingdomcentric.

      Instead of just PETA, we should have:
      People for the Ethical Treatment of Bacteria (PEToB)
      People for the Ethical Treatment of Archaea (uh oh, maybe PEToA, that's probably going to confuse the mailing list...)
      People for the Ethical Treatment of Protista (PEToP)
      People for the Ethical Treatment of Plantae (PEToPL?)
      People for the Ethical Treatment of Fungi (PEToF) ...although watching some people try to chain themselves to some mushrooms, or (b

  • Thanks KSR (Score:4, Informative)

    by krswan ( 465308 ) on Friday June 24, 2011 @06:19AM (#36552872)

    Kim Stanley Robinson wrote about "Mars Bottles" in his Mars Trilogy 20 years ago. I'm glad someone is finally trying it!

    • Of course, the "Mars Jars" were in a lab... ON MARS


    • On that note, I'm sure it was mentioned elsewhere, but I first read it in Red Mars. What about bacteria living deep underground? Are they planning to test for that at all or are they sticking to surface life for now?
    • Kim Stanley Robinson wrote about "Mars Bottles" in his Mars Trilogy 20 years ago. I'm glad someone is finally trying it!

      I read about the first "Mars Bottles" being built and used by NASA nearly 40 years ago.

      (Creaky first-cup-of-coffee synapses send me off to my bookshelves...)

      The earliest published reference to "Mars Jars" (the actual term Robinson used) I could find in a quick search of my hardcopy collection is from 1972. A brief Google search turns up Carl Sagan using "Mars Jars []" in the

    • I remember reading about lab experiments with "Mars chambers" about that long ago. As soon as people had an idea of the composition and density of Mars' atmosphere, it's a fairly obvious experiment.

  • Pictures (Score:4, Funny)

    by crow_t_robot ( 528562 ) on Friday June 24, 2011 @06:54AM (#36553026)
    I have uploaded some pics of the bacteria in the Martian atmosphere: [] [SFW - not goatse]

    • So why would we believe you?

      In the name of safety for everyone's mind, I courageously checked the link. He is right, it isn't Goatse.

      Well, not exactly - it's someone who's just seen Goatse.

  • They say the atmosphere is 95 percent CO2. They should see if any plant species can grow there.
  • by SolusSD ( 680489 ) on Friday June 24, 2011 @08:45AM (#36553826) Homepage
    Enhanced interrogation?
  • The first thing that I'd like to do
    Is torture my cold 'til it passes away
    So I can no longer pass it to you!

Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will be dear to you. -- Thomas Jefferson