06:46 GMT +314 December 2019
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    Mars and the Sun

    Antarctic Mushrooms Survive Simulated Martian Conditions on Space Station

    © Flickr / Kevin Gill
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    European scientists have collected tiny mushrooms growing in Antarctic rocks and sent them to the International Space Station.

    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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