Astronauts may need to tweak their DNA in order to survive, colonize Mars

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[W]hile making the trip [to Mars] could be technologically feasible in the next decade or two, are humans really physically and psychologically ready to abandon Earth and begin colonizing the Red Planet?

Nope, not a chance, according to cognitive scientist Konrad Szocik from the University of Information Technology and Management in Poland.

[T]he researchers think that humanity’s best prospects for living on Mars would involve some kind of body or genetic altering that might give us a fighting chance of survival on a planet we’ve never had to evolve on.

 

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“Already, people have suggested selecting astronauts for genetic predisposition for such things as radiation resistance,” says NASA’s former chief scientist for human research, Mark J. Shelhamer.

“Of course, this idea is fraught with problems. For one, it’s illegal to make employment decisions based on genetic information. For another, there are usually unintended consequences when making manipulations like this, and who knows what might get worse if we pick and choose what we think needs to be made better.”

[The study can be found here.]

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: We’ll Probably Have to Genetically Augment Our Bodies to Survive Mars

For more background on the Genetic Literacy Project, read GLP on Wikipedia.

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