According to researchers, the threat of the introduction of foreign organisms on Earth is real

So far, NASA and other space agencies have focused on preventing our own probes from dragging life where it hasn’t been before, because it might not even be easy to find out at a glance whether real extraterrestrial life was first detected, or just breeches that they mounted on Earth with us and endured the journey through space.

But Ricciardi, Cassey, Leuko, and Wollnough turned it around in their study, even though they first look at the impact that humanity has on its own planet. This is the human-caused spread of invasive species and the impact it has on the ecosystem and its biodiversity. The question is, what can we expect in the case of the introduction of alien life on Earth, because “the universe is becoming a new frontier of biological threats.”

It’s still science fiction, but in reality it may not be so far away that we actually come across life developed in a completely different environment. It doesn’t have to be Mars, where due to its dry and freezing climate it’s not much more dangerous, but rather the moons of our gas giants, which are supposed to have subsurface oceans heated by tidal forces or their own geological processes, which can be Europa, Enceladus, Titan, Callisto , Triton or Ganymede.

Prof. Anthony Ricciardi (McGill University, Montreal) on invasive species talks about preventing contamination in both directions and hopes the work will stimulate further studies by astrobiologists and biologists themselves who study invasive species. According to Ricciardi and his colleagues, the risk of the introduction of alien life on Earth is very low, but they exist and should be seen as the equivalent of extreme and rare natural and technological disasters (the impact of a large meteorite or a nuclear power plant explosion). In other words, although the risk is low, the consequences can be unforeseeable, so it needs to be addressed. It is thus necessary to come up with at least suitable procedures and protocols for the case when a very unlikely theory becomes a reality, and also to deal with material that is transported from space to Earth accordingly.

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Source: Svět hardware by www.svethardware.cz.

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