Scientists discover kombucha could be key for human survival on Mars
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Featured Image Credit: Amy Brothers /The Denver Post via Getty Images / Adrian Mann/Future Publishing via Getty Images
From avocado toast and matcha lattes to kale and pretty much anything slathered in copious amounts of sriracha - there are a whole bunch of foods out there that have recently become extremely trendy.
However, the latest buzz around the beverage goes way beyond our own personal biology and further into the great unknown.
In a statement released on Monday (11 September), the European Space Agency (ESA) revealed: "ESA is testing kombucha cultures, famous for their fermentative properties and potential health benefits, to assess their resilience in space.
"These cultures hold great promise for supporting humans on the Moon and Mars."
The cultures in question - multicellular biofilms - have reportedly 'shown promise' in surviving 'harsh environments' on Earth.
This discovery has since prompted researchers to investigate their 'potential to endure space’s extreme conditions'.
"The microorganisms are even being considered as bio-factories for self-sustaining life support systems for space settlements," the ESA adds.
So, how does it all work?
Well, when the ESA flew kombucha samples on the outside of the Space Station, they found that a microorganism, cyanobacterium, was able to repair its own DNA.
Pretty cool, right?
The cyanobacterium was also able to 'resume cell division even after being exposed to cosmic radiation, even resisting the destructive iron ions that cause extensive cell damage'.
Not bad for a fizzy drink commonly guzzled by fellow hipsters and health fanatics alike.
"By understanding how these microorganisms respond," the ESA statement continues, "researchers can gain insights to comprehend and enhance human health and well-being."
Petra Rettberg, Head of the German Aerospace Center’s (DLR) astrobiology group, said: "The cultures show great potential in supporting long-term human presence on the Moon and on Mars."
"Due to their ability to produce oxygen and function as bio-factories, this biotechnology could significantly enhance future space missions and human space exploration efforts," adds ESA deep space exploration scientist Nicol Caplin.
"I hope to see our samples attached to the lunar Gateway in the future or perhaps utilised on the surface of the Moon and beyond. Until then, we will continue to explore the possibilities our bio-cultures offer."
Well, cheers to that I guess.