Scientists Wants to Genetically Engineer Humans to Survive Missions to Mars

By: | November 13th, 2019

Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

According to European Space Agency (ESA), a manned mission to Mars will be an incredibly risky and complicated journey, which some scientists fear could be lethal for astronauts.

On Mars, astronauts could be bombarded with 700 times the radiation experienced on Earth, so shielding astronauts from onslaught of deadly cosmic radiation is a major concern for the scientists.

Scientists propose to genetically modify humans with a creature’s DNA that enables the weird little creature to survive harsh radiation

Christopher E Mason of Weill Cornell Medical College, New York has proposed to gene-hack humans with the DNA from tardigrades that enable them to survive harsh radiation. Tardigrades can survive the vacuum of space, zero temperatures and radiation.

Scientists discovered that Tardigrades have a nuclear protein that protects it from radiation.  Now scientists are working ways to combine it with human cells.

Mason said, “I don’t have any plans of having engineered astronauts in the next one to two decades,”

 “If we have another 20 years of pure discovery and mapping and functional validation of what we think we know, maybe by 20 years from now, I’m hoping we could be at the stage where we would be able to say we can make a human that could be better surviving on Mars.”


Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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