US scientists from Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are planning to transform the climate on Mars into an Earth like planet by using genetically engineered algae, bacteria and plants. They aim to warm up and potentially thicken Mars’ atmosphere by growing plants, bacteria and algae on the Red Planet.
Researchers at DARPA had been working on the project since last year to genetically engineer organisms of all types. Out of 30 million to 30 billion organisms on earth, scientists presently use only two organisms viz. e-coli and yeast in synthetic biology projects. DARPA scientists have created a software called DTA GView which can store genomes of several organisms and show a list of known genes where they are located in the genome.
Scientists aim to select the best genes and edit them to create an entirely different species. At first they want to experiment this procedure with bacteria and other microorganisms and then with multi-cellular organisms. DARPA researchers also plan to use genetically engineered organisms to help repair environmental damage caused due to manmade or natural disasters. They look forward to developing extremophile organisms which are capable of surviving in extreme conditions. After thriving for a long time, these organisms would naturally bring environment back to life.