Tuesday , May 17 2022

First rains in 500 years catch the microbes of Atacama



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The rains recorded in the Atacama Desert over the last three years have led to the destruction of their microbiological lives in the first 500 years, because it has published a team of Spanish scientists from the Astrobiology Center (CAB / CSIC-INTA). It results in the journal Scientific Reports.

During this very warm place in the north of Chile, little rain falls throughout the year. During the winter of Altiplánico, in spite of drought, moist air currents from the Andes sometimes cause some snow to fall. In the last three years, however, there have been three meteorological events in the hyper-arid heart of Atacama that challenged the usual climate, and the authors of this study have linked him to climate change. In 2015 it rained significantly twice. And on June 7, 2017, according to Alberto G. Fairén, co-author of the work, they çalış created temporary lagoons because for the first time there were recordings Ve.

Death due to excessive water

When he examined the microbiology of the space, it was found that the contribution of the water did not think that a life in Atacama was flowering. On the contrary, the microbial species living in these places caused great damage.

According to this study, some of the bacteria baptized as Halomonas remained metabolically active and could still grow in the rainwater lagoons. This was explained by Fairén: "The range of wear was 85%, especially due to osmotic stress", ie due to an imbalance resulting from changes in water supply.

Changes in microbiology were mainly due to excess water, because microorganisms were adapted to live in extreme dryness and were optimized to take full advantage of low humidity. Given the new circumstances, they died because they could not adapt to the extreme water and died.

Mars in the world

Atacama is a desert rich in nitrates, sulphates and perchlorates, but covers an area of ​​105,000 square kilometers, which is extremely poor in organic matter. Also, the radiation is very high. However, there are organisms that adapt to this hostile environment.

Because of these conditions, since 2003, research has been made to find out the mechanisms that make life possible in this place. Thus, almost four and a half million years ago on the surface of a large amount of liquid water on the red planet could clarify what happened. Then, it made the red planet atmosphere and hydrosphere a dry world. However, there have been cases in which 3,500 to 3,000 million years ago produced large channels of water and catastrophic floods.

If these scientists had the hypothesis of their team, the microbial communities that were accustomed to the extreme dry air, they would have a similar stress on what they saw in Atacama when suddenly the Martian microbes came face to face with plenty of water. Therefore, as Fairén has said, his work serves lı to create an analog with those in Mars when he loses fluid, and to help explain the fate of a possible Martian biosphere Bu.

Atacama has been arid for the last 150 million years and hyper-arid for 15 million years.

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