Artist's impression of humans on Mars. Image Credit: NASA/Pat Rawlings
Scientists may be able to alter our genes to make the human colonization of other planets more viable.
Professor Stephen Hawking has often suggested that if we are to survive as a species we need to get out in to space and colonize other worlds, but with the difficulties inherent in long distance space travel and the challenges we will meet in surviving on other worlds, is there a way to improve the odds and make the idea of living among the stars a viable one ?
Speakers at a recent HMS Department of Genetics symposium on "Genetics, Biomedicine, and the Human Experience in Space" were keen to emphasize that our future in space is likely to depend on our genes. These can influence everything from how our bodies cope with microgravity to how we might react to long-term cosmic ray exposure.
To tackle these issues, scientists have suggested that altering the human genome may be a prerequisite to traveling to and living on other worlds.
Potential changes could include preventing unwanted side effects from spending long periods of time in microgravity, protecting our brains from the psychological ramifications of such a trip and even halting the aging process to make it possible to travel for centuries to reach a distant destination.
Source: Phys.org | Comments (6)