Morning glory seeds are tough enough for an interplanetary trip

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by timojin, May 2, 2017.

  1. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    Morning glory seeds are candidate for space travel
    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017...ily_2017-05-01&et_rid=41087911&et_cid=1303806

    Natural sunscreens help morning glory seeds survive doses of ultraviolet (UV) radiation that would burn most humans to a crisp, according to a new study. The hardy seeds of the common flowering plant would probably even survive a voyage between planets, say the researchers. This might help researchers decide which species to send on future missions to Mars, a place that is bombarded with UV light because of its thin atmosphere. It also validates the concept of panspermia, the idea that life might have hopscotched through our solar system—or others—by hitching a ride on asteroids or comets.

    The research began a decade ago, when astronauts placed about 2000 seeds from tobacco plants and a flowering plant known as Arabidopsis thaliana on the outside of the International Space Station. For 558 days, the seeds were exposed to high levels of UV light, cosmic radiation, and extreme temperature fluctuations—conditions that are lethal to most forms of life
    But the scientists wanted to see just how much abuse a seed could withstand. In a follow-on experiment in the laboratory, Tepfer and Leach exposed three types of seeds—morning glory, tobacco, and A. thaliana—to high doses of UV light. Tepfer and Leach thought morning glory seeds might do well based on their large size, tough seed coats, and ability to survive for more than 50 years in soil. They found that only morning glory seeds germinated after being exposed to light roughly 6 million times the dose typically used to sterilize drinking water, conditions that killed the much smaller tobacco and A. thaliana seeds. The team suggests a protective coating containing flavonoids, compounds commonly found in wine and tea that act as natural sunscreens, might be responsible for the seeds’ robustness,
     
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  3. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    I've taken that trip!
     
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  5. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    When and were ?
     
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  7. geordief Registered Senior Member

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    Did people use to smoke those seeds?

    Nutmegs too,but I never did.(they made you sick)
     
  8. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    You eat them in large quantities, they contain some hallucinogen.

    Nutmeg works too, but it's a horrible hangover that lasts 3 days.
     
  9. karenmansker HSIRI Banned

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    . . . . .IMO, such (hallucinogenic) propeties should make interplanetary trips more tolerable . . . . maybe feed the space dopers seeds before they leave, and they'll just think they made the trip! Perhaps a new survivor reality show: "Space Dopers!!" (For the nitpickers . . . this post is intended to convey a bit of humor!)
     
  10. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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