Scientists warn of potential 'alien invasion', but not from space

A new paper has outlined an argument for space agencies to be on high alert for an 'alien invasion' of biological contamination.

1 minute & 25 seconds read time

Researchers have warned that an "alien invasion" is a warranted concern, but the invaders won't arrive in spaceships.

Scientists warn of potential 'alien invasion', but not from space 05

A new study published in the journal Bioscience explores the effects of human expansion beyond Earth's atmosphere and the dangers of micro-bacterial contamination. The researchers looked at the risks of obtaining micro-bacteria and bringing it back to Earth. Additionally, the study looked at humans bringing bacteria to new worlds, such as Mars, and found measures to reduce the risk of contamination. Researchers have already discovered strains of bacteria that have evolved from Earth bacteria on the International Space Station.

Additionally, NASA has found in its clean rooms that are used to assemble spacecrafts, "bacterial strains exhibiting extreme resistance to ionizing radiation, desiccation, and disinfectants." The authors note that bacteria from Earth shouldn't be brought to new planets such as Mars, and that an event such as this can is comparable to an extreme natural disaster such a major earthquake or even a nuclear meltdown. The study authors suggested the following measures should be taken to prevent contamination from extraterrestrials.

"Protocols for early detection, hazard assessment, rapid response, and containment procedures currently employed for invasive species on Earth could be adapted for dealing with potential extraterrestrial contaminants."

Adding, "Biological invasions-the human-assisted spread of organisms into novel environments, in which such species are most often termed "alien"-are a threat to ecosystem sustainability and human well-being. Owing to human activities, the rate of spread of alien microbes, invertebrates, vertebrates, and plants across the planet is unprecedentedly high with no sign of saturation."

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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