Conan the Bacterium

In the news on 6 September 2020

'Super bacteria' survives for three years outside space station

Scientists who attached a strain of bacteria to the outside of the International Space Station have been stunned to find it survived for three years, in open space.

The experiment, led by a team of Japanese researchers, involved the bacteria Deinococcus radiodurans, also known as Conan the Bacterium due to its extreme hardiness.

Experts say the study could help shape our understanding of whether life might exist on other planets.

I have been interested in astrophysics for quite some years, and this kind of news does not really surprise me.

It's time for us humans to show some humility.

You could also ask who’s in charge. Lots of people think, well, we’re humans; we’re the most intelligent and accomplished species; we’re in charge. Bacteria may have a different outlook: more bacteria live and work in one linear centimeter of your lower colon than all the humans who have ever lived. That’s what’s going on in your digestive tract right now. Are we in charge, or are we simply hosts for bacteria? It all depends on your outlook.
~ Neil deGrasse Tyson, Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier

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