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The strongest bacteria withstand radiation and life in space

Deinococcus radiodurans has been listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s strongest bacteria, thanks to its amazing ability to withstand the harshest environments and conditions.

Scientists discovered the red globular bacteria that later became known as deinococcus radiodurans
About 70 years ago, upon examining a can of ground beef that had been damaged despite being sterilized with doses of radiation in the Megarad range. Research later showed that this bacterium can withstand 10,000 times the amount of radiation that would kill a human, thanks to the uncanny ability to repair many double-stranded DNA breaks in a matter of hours.

“Her DNA is severely damaged at 1.7 million rads, her DNA is completely cut. There are between 1,000 and 2,000 fragments of DNA per cell, but they are all repaired in about 24 hours,” Michael Daly of Montana State University Bozeman told Science Daily.

Scientists have found that these bacteria can withstand harsh drought conditions for long periods of time, complete lack of nutrients, extreme temperatures, and even the vacuum of outer space.

In August of 2020, studies conducted on the International Space Station found that bacteria
deinococcus radiodurans can live in outer space for at least three years. Many believe this discovery supports the theory of panspermia, the hypothesis that life exists throughout the universe, distributed in different ways.

The remarkable ability of deinococcus radiodurans to survive in harsh environments and then repair itself has been studied extensively by biologists, hoping to adapt this mechanism to humans, to help them better resist exposure to radiation as well as deal with toxic waste.

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So far, scientists have not been able to determine the natural habitat of the bacteria, as they have been found in diverse environments, such as elephant dung and granite in the dry valleys of Antarctica, according to Odity Central.