The NY Times had an interesting article regarding samples taken from other worlds, such as Mar’s, which could be an unstoppable contagion.
Years ago, a movie called Andromeda Strain discussed the possibility that an organism from another world could be deadly to us. Michael Crighton was the story’s author, a huge movie in 1971.
Conversely, at the end of War of the Worlds, which starred Tom Cruise, where the Aliens attacked the earth and attempted to drive us to extinction, the aliens were killed by our atmosphere as their bodies could not fight off many of the things we have adapted to.
Covid-19 is a Novel virus that has never been seen before (although Sars1 was a close cousin), and while it was not in many ways as bad as was thought, did have many people who had risk factors such as obesity and vitamin D deficiency dying from the virus.
Scientists are always considering the next contagion such as monkeypox which can cause massive harm, but what if that contagion was not of this earth?
Check out this fascinating NY Times article.
To Prevent a Martian Plague, NASA Needs to Build a Very Special Lab
The likelihood is low that bringing rocks to Earth from the red planet will make us sick, but the space agency isn’t taking any chances.
When Carl Sagan imagined sending humans to Mars in his book “The Cosmic Connection,” published in 1973, he posed a problem beyond such a mission’s cost and complexity: the possibility that life already existed on the red planet and that it might not play nice.
“It is possible that on Mars there are pathogens,” he wrote, “organisms which, if transported to the terrestrial environment, might do enormous biological damage — a Martian plague.”
Michael Crichton imagined a related scenario in his novel “The Andromeda Strain.”
Such situations, in which extraterrestrial samples contain dangerous tagalong organisms, are examples of backward contamination, or the risk of material from other worlds harming Earth’s biosphere.