Introduction Science probably has more failed attempts than success stories. It just so happened that the failed attempts rarely get to see the light of day as very few self-respecting scientists would actually take the time to advertise their failures. However, perhaps some of the greatest successes of science come from failures themselves…
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The structure was sealed in order to make sure that oxygen and carbon dioxide supply came entirely from inside of the structure. It is located in Oracle, Arizona and was constructed between 1987 to 1991 as part of a grand experiment by Space Biosphere Ventures Executive Director John Allen and CEO Margret Augustine (Larabee, 2000). Biosphere 2 was used to find out the intricacies involved in the criss-crossing interactions of life forms on Earth, which may be considered as Biosphere 1. In order to explore these interactions in the closest approximate version of the Earth, Biosphere 2 was divided into five partitions which represented the five biomes found in Earth: a rainforest, an ocean with a coral reef, mangrove wetlands, a savannah grassland, and a fog desert (Chesworth, 2008). A portion of the space inside the dome was set up as an agricultural area and a work space where it would be possible to investigate the interactions among human beings, agriculture, and technology with all the other life and non-life forms of Biosphere 2’s nature (Pimentel, Westra, & Noss, 2008). ...
Moreover, the intricate system that scientists have set up to mimic the ability of nature to provide food, water, energy and oxygen resources to humans was not as successful as they had hoped to be. Great efforts had to be made to clean the water system and maintain appropriate oxygen levels that in the end, crew members had to use items introduced from the “outside world.” Human inhabitants of Biosphere 2 continually complained of hunger and dizziness resulting from both lack of food and lack of oxygen (Pimentel, Westra, & Noss, 2008). Because of the imbalance in the general nature of the Biosphere 2, plenty of animal and plant species that were initially introduced grew extinct (Larabee, 2000). This extinction was attributed to the fact that not all plant and animal species that naturally existed in a specific habitat were initially introduced by scientists and so the basic food web was cut away in many parts. On an opposite but equally threatening manner, some species overpopulated the biosphere more than they should have. The Biosphere 2 experienced overgrowths of vines like morning glories and a high rise in the population of ants and cockroaches (Pimentel, Westra, & Noss, 2008). Thus, the Biosphere 2 was clearly not able to sustain food production that would be sufficient for the existing ecological system, which was actually the basic goal of putting up the structure. Lessons learned One of the most important lessons that the failure of the Biosphere 2 experiment has taught the world is that human life is very delicate and as such, humans should at no point be treated as guinea pigs. No discovery or experiment success is ever more
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