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How tea could help man one day colonise the planet Mars


Ever since early man turned his telescopes to the heavens he became enthralled by the tantalising magic of the Red Planet Mars. Mars is our closest celestial neighbour and the most Earth like planet in the solar system. Earth like yes but nothing like the beautiful blue orb we all live on. Mars is cold and dead and with a poisonous Carbon Dioxide rich atmosphere making life as we know it extremely difficult.

This has not, however, prevented from dreaming of one day transforming Mars into something like our own planet and to allowing future generations to colonise our neighbouring planet.

But why are we talking about the planet Mars on the UKVending blog site? Tea, it seems, could be crucial in making the planet suitable for human life. Yes the humble and enjoyable cup of tea could be at the heart of man’s future trek across the heavens, who’d have thought it?


Well let me explain. It’s not as simple as cups of tea as nourishment for weary astronauts, it is a bacteria found in tea that could pave the way for a wide range of uses including filtering water and creating a fabric with in-built sensors that could detect toxins.

Already bacteria found in tea is used in a wide range of products ranging from headphones, ingredients in cosmetics and occasionally as a leather substitute in clothes.  However, the latest research by British scientists have determined that the same bacteria, found in a fermented green tea called kombucha tea,  could be used to create a fabric that changes colour in the presence of deadly toxins. Such a material could be manufactured on Mars to warn of build up’s of deadly carbon dioxide and other lethal gases on a future Martian colony. The same material could also be used to make extremely fine water filters.

The team of scientists and undergraduates from Imperial College London are now working with the American space agency NASA to develop real life applications for this remarkable new material.  Lead scientist Michael Florea said: “What makes this approach so promising is that we’ve shown that bacterial cellulose production can be genetically controlled, which means that we can grow material with different spaces, patterns and sizes.”

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