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Can we ever colonize another planet without decimating the environment with just the microbes on our skin?

I was just thinking about what would it take to live on another planet with earth like features and then came to mind even the simplest microbe from the soil on earth could devastate the ecosystem of another world or at least cause a severe impact on the environment.

Could we ever safely colonize, and is there any research or discussions going on about this?

Topics: science
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  • Nov 14 2012: "Can we ever colonize another planet without decimating the environment with just the microbes on our skin?"

    Yes, there will most definitely be worlds where life is so different from life on Earth (not necessarily their appearance but certainly their genetic system, aka, their DNA/RNA equivalents) that microbes from Earth won't have any effect on the indigenous life and vice versa, in fact I expect this to be the norm. Another possible threat could be Earth bacteria colonizing other worlds when they are more suited to the local environment than the indigenous life (or vice versa), but again this seems unlikely.

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