The thought of bringing alien life forms to Earth or of creating dangerous mutant microorganisms during space travel might seem straight out of a science fiction movie. But are these concerns really that far fetched? As our interest in astrobiology (the study of life in the universe) grows, the concern for an unintentional exchange of life between Earth and other celestial bodies becomes increasingly realistic. What happens if we introduce Earth’s microbes to other planets? What if we bring alien life back to Earth? Questions regarding such interplanetary contamination pose not only practical issues but ethical ones as well.
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