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TOMSK, Apr 3 – RIA Tomsk. Microbiologists of Tomsk State University (TSU) were the first in the world to discover a bacterium which
could survive on Mars; the microorganism was found in thermal waters in the
Verkhneketsk region, it can receive energy in the complete absence of light and
oxygen, the press service of the university reports on Wednesday.
The genetic trail of the bacterium Desulforudis audaxviator ("the brave
traveler") was found more than 10 years ago by American scientists in
samples of mine waters at a depth of 1.5-3 kilometers. Since then, scientists
from different countries have been looking for this bacterium – their interest
was attracted by the fact that the microorganism can live in the absence of
light and oxygen. In theory, this method makes possible life in space, for
example, on Mars, writes the press service.
"TSU microbiologists were able to isolate Desulforudi saudaxviator – it was
found in the underground waters of a thermal spring located in the Verkhneketsk
district of the Tomsk region. In search of a "wanderer" TSU scientists were
helped by the accumulated earlier practical experience in isolating of complex
sulfate-reducing bacteria", – is said in the report.
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It is specified that scientists first discovered DNA of the
"bacteria-wanderer" in samples, and then were able to isolate it and
investigate it. It turned out that the survivable microorganism is divided
every 28 hours (previously it was assumed that once a thousand years). It also
turned out that the bacterium is almost omnivorous, but it receives the most
energy from hydrogen.
Also, scientists have suggested that the characteristics of its structure
help the Desulforudis audaxviator to travel around the world – in the structure
of the bacteria were identified the smallest bubbles, similar to the swim
bladder in fish. Microbiologists suggest that the bacterium can move through
The DNA of the "Tomsk" bacterium is almost identical to that found 10 years
ago by American scientists in South Africa. "It shouldn’t be like that, it’s
a mystery which we can't solve yet. <...> Explaining of this genetic
similarity – is a matter of the future, something scientists still have to work
on", – the press-service quotes the head of the Department of Plant Physiology
and Biotechnology of TSU Biological Institute Olga Karnachuk.
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The bacterium capable to survive on Mars was found in the Tomsk region