Have Aliens Invaded The International Space Station? Well…Kind Of!

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According to NASA, this discovery offers a lot of potential into growing food in Space and why not, on Mars as well. It’s also very interesting that the three bacteria found on the ISS are actually part of essential agricultural processes, including nitrogen fixation, phosphate solubilization, abiotic stress tolerance, plant growth promotion, and biocontrol activity against plant pathogens.

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As Dr. Kasthuri Venkateswaran and Dr. Nitin Kumar Singh from NASA have explained, the three lifeforms might offer ‘biotechnologically useful genetic determinants’ which will help us find a way to finally grow crops in space.

Even so, more evidence is still needed in order to confirm that the new species found on the ISS can change the whole concept of space-farming. However, they’re very optimistic about the discovery.

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According to the researchers, “To grow plants in extreme places where resources are minimal, isolation of novel microbes that help to promote plant growth under stressful conditions is essential.”

“Since our group possesses expertise in cultivating microorganisms from extreme niches, we have been tasked by the NASA Space Biology Program to survey the ISS for the presence and persistence of the microorganisms,” they added.

“Needless to say, the ISS is a cleanly-maintained extreme environment. Crew safety is the number one priority and hence understanding human/plant pathogens are important, but beneficial microbes like this novel Methylobacterium ajmalii are also needed.”

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