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Rauf Sharpe is presently studying physics, mathematics and chemistry and is aspiring to a scientific career in an astronomy related field. He is a full-time member of Rosliston Astronomy Group based in Derbyshire in the United Kingdom, where he is an active contributor helping to deliver a successful outreach programme to members of the community. He is part of the next generation of young scientists passionate about developing new concepts and ideas in astronomy for the benefit of mankind.

Martin Braddock is a professional scientist, project manager and project leader working for a large pharmaceutical company. He has published over 170 articles in many journals including Nature, Cell, Human Gene Therapy and Nature Drug Discovery and more recently papers in astronomical journals for which astronomy is a passionate hobby. He is a member of Sherwood Observatory in the UK, a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and live in Nottinghamshire with his wife and family.

 

ARTICLE:

Sustaining Resources for Homo Martis: The Potential Application of Synthetic Biology for the Settlement of Mars

The recent success of the Mars 2020 project and the high quality images relayed back to Earth have provided further impetus and expectations for human missions to Mars. To support space agency and private enterprise plans to establish a sustainable colony on Mars in the 2030s, synthetic biology may play a vital role to enable astronaut self-sufficiency. In this review, we describe some aspects of where synthetic biology may inform and guide in situ resource utilisation strategies. We address the nature of Martian regolith and describe methods by which it may be rendered fit for purpose to support growth and yield of bioengineered crops. Lastly, we illustrate some examples of innate human adaptation which may confer characteristics desirable in the selection of colonists and with a future looking lens, offer potential targets for human enhancement.

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