Synthetic Biology Might Offer Solutions For Mars Colonization


Mars colonization would be the next significant achievement for the humanity. However, even though scientists are thinking of different methods to colonize the Red Planet and assure living conditions for the inhabitants, it’s very challenging to picture how living there permanently would be like, Jestin George of Synthetic Biology Australasia (SBA) believes.

While the majority of the scientists and individuals, as well, would imagine bringing Earth-based living style on Mars, some other researchers thought to develop more Martian lifestyle using what is known as synthetic biology. This concept refers to reshaping living organisms to provide us with all we need for a Mars colonization but without us having to live an Earth-like lifestyle on the Red Planet.

In this direction, a recent study conducted by three Australian synthetic biology experts highlighted some of the essential solutions based on synthetic biology that might help humans live on Mars.

Synthetic biology to come up with reliable solutions for the future Mars colonization

Brian Llorente, Thomas Williams, and Hugh Goold, the new study’s authors, focused on plants, mostly, and presented how those plants specially engineered to resist to extreme cold and drought on Earth could also be useful on the Red Planet. In fact, these modified plants are like Martian plants would be.

The scientists also said that, by applying some specific synthetic biology techniques, those plants could suck up the nitrogen (a crucial nutrient for them) directly from the Mars’ atmosphere instead of taking it from the soil as the plants do on Earth.

Synthetic biology would also tackle other known issues that would prevent plants to grow on Mars. Accordingly, modifying plants for enhanced photosynthesis and engineering their roots for a higher nutrients intake are two achievable features that could be used to create “Martian plants.”

Besides plants, the study’s authors also discussed the possibility to use synthetic biology to modify microbes to make Mars more habitable for carbon-based life forms, like us.


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