Space boffins have been stepping up their efforts recently to get humans to Mars with a view to eventually colonizing it, but any plans may have to be scuppered after it was revealed the planet is covered in bacteria which are toxic to humans.
The discovery echoes the plot of H G Wells’ 1897 novel War of the Worlds, where aliens land on Earth only to die off as they are poisoned by bacteria humans are immune to.
The University of Edinburgh research looked at a mix of oxidants, iron oxides, UV energy and chemical compounds called perchlorates and found that they are likely highly damaging to Earth-based living cells.
When the perchlorates are mixed with iron oxides and hydrogen peroxides they muster a “toxic cocktail” which leads to a 10-fold increase in the death of cells.
Featured Image: Kevin Gill/Flickr
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