The Damage Suppressor Protein (Dsup), identified in the tardigrade R. varieornatus, has shown to reduce the effects of harmful radiation in human and plant cell cultures.
On Mars, the equivalent radiation level is around 50 times higher than here on earth, and in connection with NASA’s and SpaceX’s visions of a human visit to Mars within the next ten years, a stable food source that can withstand a higher level of radiation would be an advantageous invention and economical improvement.
For this purpose, microalgae farming would be a super nutritious and highly productive food source on Mars. Thus, this project will explore the prospect of allowing the microalgae N. oceanica to express the Dsup protein and its ability to withstand radiation, compared to non-transgenic N. oceanica relatives.
Konrad Basse Fisker