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'Bizarre Bacteria' in Lake Vostok Study Likely a Contaminant
Topic: Extreme Life
Last week, reports began to emerge that scientists had discovered a previously unknown bacteria in samples from Antarctica’s Lake Vostok. Word quickly spread throughout the blogosphere, but the bacteria in question is likely just a contaminant.

Microbes Survive a Mixed Bag of Mars ‘Biocidals’
Topic: Extreme Life
For the first time, scientists find that microbes from Earth can survive and grow even in the mix of drastically low pressure, freezing temperatures and oxygen-starved conditions seen on Mars.

Life on Earth’s Ceiling
Topic: Extreme Life
Studies have previously discovered microbes in the upper atmosphere, but little is known about the diversity of life up there. New research aims to take a census at the top of the sky.

Seeking Signs of Life at the Glacier’s Edge
Topic: Extreme Life
Microbes living at the edges of Arctic ice sheets could help researchers find evidence for life on Mars, Jupiter’s moon Europa, or Saturn's moon Enceladus.

Microbes Go Rafting on Floating Volcanic Rocks
Topic: Extreme Life
A new project looks at how floating pumice provides a unique habitat for microbes, and how it might have played an integral part in the origin of life.

Breaking Through the Ice at Lake Vostok
Topic: Extreme Life
After more than 15 years of stop-and-go drilling, a team of Russian scientists and engineers have drilled through the ice of Lake Vostok. Scientists are eager to discover what sort of extreme life might lurk in the deep dark waters.

Hunting For Worms From Hell
Topic: Extreme Life
Worms found miles underground in South African mines surprised scientists, because they never thought complex life could reside at such depths. These "worms from Hell" add to our understanding of life on Earth, and make us rethink assumptions about how complex life could be on Mars or other planets.

A Tale of Two Deserts
Topic: Extreme Life
All life as we know it needs water. But what organisms can survive when water is all but unavailable? To find out, one scientist is looking at soil from two of the driest places on Earth.

Thermophiles Lurking in your Basement
Topic: Extreme Life
Exotic life forms may be lurking in your home, and a new citizen science project seeks to find them. By sampling home water heaters to study the micro-organisms that thrive there, scientists can learn more about the types of life we may find beyond Earth.

Mutant Microbes Test Radiation Resistance
Topic: Extreme Life
The bacterium B. subtilis is capable of adapting to UV levels even higher than what existed on the primordial Earth – a harbinger of untapped potential that still lies within some organisms. Mutant versions of this microbe are now being exposed to space radiation to test their reactions to conditions in space and on other worlds.
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