Team:MTU-CORK/Human Practices

Human Practices

Our slogan for our project is “Grow green on the Red planet”. Let's first talk about perchlorate on Earth. Perchlorate has been found in drinking water and surface waters in the United States and Canada. It is primarily associated with release from defense and military operations. Natural sources include certain fertilizers and potash ores. The below diagram shows the cycle of how this keeps getting reintroduced into our bodies.

In fact, perchlorate is so persistent that it has been used as a drug to treat hyperthyroidism which is when one experiences excess thyroid production. It has also been used to diagnose disorders related to thyroid and iodine metabolism. In adults, the thyroid plays an important role in regulating metabolism. In fetuses and infants, thyroid hormones are critical for the normal growth and development of the central nervous system. Pregnant women and their fetuses and newborns have the greatest potential for risk of adverse health effects following exposure to perchlorate. Besides its potential to cause endocrine system and reproductive problems, perchlorate is considered a “likely human carcinogen” by the EPA.
But how do people get these bacteria to grow and remain in their aquariums? The answer is porous materials such as ceramic, sponges, or plastic such as bio balls. These materials provide a large surface area for nitrifying bacteria to colonize via the use of Biofilm. Therefore what we tackle in our project is the question of “Can our team design via 3D printing a universal Bioball capable of remediating soil on Mars?” As we all know, growing crops on Mars is very different from growing crops on Earth. The problem we tackle is taking out those toxins in the soil and growing edible crops. Our project is a step in the right direction with the idea of living in a multi-planetary world where living conditions vary widely. With climate change and global warming, some believe becoming a multi-planetary species is necessary for humankind to survive. We know history is likely to repeat itself and there will probably be an eventual extinction event. And what is one main concern for humans when the time comes for this to happen? Some preparations we can do beforehand include doing early exploration and studies of other planets in our solar system to see if there are other possible homes for us. But once we do that, the next thing we will think about is survival skills of course since it's a completely new planet! Even if the living conditions suit us humans we still need water and food. If we refer to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, food sits at the bottom of the pyramid signifying its importance. More on this, the hunter-gatherer culture comes to mind with their lifestyle revolving around looking for food to eat as one does in order to survive. Hopefully, we do not become hunter-gatherers again now that our civilization has developed so much with new inventions, technologies, and architectures but we still need to prepare to do things differently and we must be open to adapting to new places.