Radioadaptation of Astronauts' Microbiome and Bodies in a Deep Space Mission to Mars and Beyond
Paper in proceeding, 2020
During manned space missions, humans will be accompanied by microorganisms. This prompts us to study the characteristics of bacteria grown in space . It has been shown that a pre-exposure to low levels of either ionizing or non-ionizing radiation can make microorganisms more resistant not only to high doses of ionizing radiation but to any factor that threatens their survival (e.g. antibiotics) [2,3]. This phenomenon that is called "adaptive response" (i.e. increased resistance in living organisms pre-exposed to a low level stressor such as a low dose of ionizing radiation)  significantly increases the risk of serious infections in deep space missions. It's worth noting that both animal and human data confirm the disruption of the immune system during spaceflight . In addition, the virulence of bacteria can also be increased significantly in space , hence this kind of adaptive response which increases the resistance of bacteria can endanger the astronauts' lives in space. On the other hand, A NASA report notes that as astronauts' cells will be exposed to multiple protons before being traversed by HZE particles, they can show adaptive responses. Given this consideration, it would be realistic to expect co-radioadaptation of astronauts' microbiome and their body in a deep space journey to Mars and beyond. The complexity of these phenomena and current uncertainties, which highlight the need for further studies before any long-term manned mission, will be discussed in this paper.