Could the bacteria found on Mount Everest a decade ago pose a potential threat to humans in the future?

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  • Yes, the bacteria found is a threat to human lives in the future, as climbers may unknowingly carry it back with them
  • Maybe, as this bacteria has survived even in sub-zero temperatures, it has different metabolic activities and resistance
  • No, there is no evidence of bacterial resistance and risk to humans
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    • #40962
      Seema Waghmareswaghmare

      A recent study has shown that even in the extreme conditions of Mount Everest, bacteria and fungi can survive and even thrive. These organisms were found in sediments at an altitude of 7,900 feet. Some were identified as common species of Staphylococcus and Streptococcus that typically reside on human skin and mucous membranes. This discovery highlights the impact of human activity on the mountain and could provide insight into the limits of life on Earth and other planets. While most microbes cannot survive the harsh conditions of high altitudes, only the most robust organisms can persist in this environment. The high concentrations of ultraviolet light, low temperatures, and lack of water all contribute to the death of many microbes. However, some organisms can survive brief periods of water availability at high elevations.
      The fact that human-associated bacteria and fungi were found on Everest suggests that these microorganisms were either transported by wind or by humans themselves. While the researchers do not confirm that this addition of human germs will significantly impact the mountain’s environment, it raises questions about the potential consequences of increased deposition of bacteria and its survival in extreme environments.

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