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Antarctic Mushrooms Survive Simulated Martian Conditions on Space Station

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European scientists have collected tiny mushrooms growing in Antarctic rocks and sent them to the International Space Station.

NASA's Curiosity rover has found the first evidence of liquid water on Mars, a significant step in the search for past life on the red planet. - Sputnik International
Curiosity Rover Finds Crucial Life-Sustaining Nitrogen on Mars
Two types of fungi — Cryomyces antarcticus and Cryomyces minteri — were planted aboard the station in conditions close to those on Mars and kept in cells on a platform for experiments known as EXPOSE-E.

After 18 months, more than 60 percent of the mushrooms' cells remained intact, namely with functioning DNA. According to the authors of the study, these results will help in a further search for life on Mars.

Experts have talked about the possibility of life on Mars for many centuries considering the planet's proximity and similarity to Earth. However, despite a number of assumptions there has not been so far any evidence of life existing on the planet.

The work was published in the journal Astrobiology; the main author of the study is Professor Silvano Onofri from the University of Tuscany, Italy.

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