Mars One To Build Human Community In The Red Planet

It sounds like a science-fiction fantasy, but the company Mars One says it’s for real—and that it will really establish a settlement on the planet Mars by 2023. The privately financed Dutch company has a plan. All it needs is a lot of cash, equipment and four Mars-bound astronauts who are willing to take a one-way trip to the red planet.

The idea is to first send rovers, which will stake out a good site for a settlement and then build out living units. In 2022, the crew will take a “transit habitat” for the seven-month trip to Mars and settle in to their new home. The intention is that the crew will live on the planet for the rest of their lives. Every two years after that, another group will join the settlement to populate the colony.

Mars One co-founder Bas Lansdorp has a very modern approach to funding the project: media exposure. “We will finance this mission by creating the biggest media event ever around it.” He said in a company video, adding, “Everybody in the world can see everything that will happen in the preparations and on Mars.”

Think of it as a “Big Brother” for outer space. Lansdorp explained to Yahoo! News, “This would be ‘real’ reality TV — adventure is automatically included, we don’t have to add fake challenges.” He added, “By sending a new crew every two years, Mars will have a real, growing settlement of humans — who would not like to follow that major event in human history?”

Next year, according to its website, the company will begin an astronaut selection process. Those who have the right stuff will then undergo a decade of preparation. And, we assume, the Mars travelers will be ready for their out-of-this-world close-up.

Would you be willing to be relocated to the Red Planet? Do you think creating a human community in Mars is really possible? Share your thoughts with us!

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Digital Journal

Is Fecal Transplant Really Needed?

Transplanting faecal matter from one person to another – the thought might turn your stomach, but it could be lifesaving. Some doctors are using the procedure to repopulate the gut with healthy bacteria, which can become unbalanced in some diseases.

Dr Alisdair MacConnachie, who thinks he is the only UK doctor to carry out the procedure for Clostridium difficle infection, describes it as a proven treatment. He says it should be used, but only as a treatment of last resort. C. difficile infection is caused by antibiotics wiping out swathes of bacteria in the gut. The theory is that by adding more bacteria to the bowels, they will compete with C. difficile bacteria and control the infection.

A relative’s sample is generally used, preferably one who lives with the patient, because living in the same environment and eating the same food means they are more likely to have similar bowel bacteria. About 30g (1oz) is taken and blitzed in a household blender with some salt water. This is poured through a coffee filter to leave a watery liquid. The doctor inserts a tube up the patient’s nose and down to the stomach. Other doctors use a different route to the bowels. About 30ml (1fl oz) of liquid is poured down the tube.

The practice has been reported only as a series of small case by case studies for recurrent C. difficile infection. There has been an average success rate about 90%. However, this is not enough for the technique to be widely adopted. The gold standard for determining if a treatment works is a randomised clinical trial. Until such a trial takes place, widespread acceptance will be difficult achieve.


Source: BBC News

Image: ABC News