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Hot Topic Origins Extreme Life
What is Life?
Topic: Extreme Life
Pam Conrad touches on the practical aspects of searching for life, while Carol Cleland takes a more philosophical approach.

Archaea, the Bug Next Door?
Topic: Extreme Life
From hot springs to rice farms, scientists reveal new insights into the secret lives of archaea. Certain archaea can inhabit some of the harshest environments on Earth and provide insights into how life might survive on other planets.

Life as We Don't Know it: The Dialectic Game
Topic: Extreme Life
Steve Benner plays with the belief that water is necessary for life.

Launching the Alien Debates
Topic: Extreme Life
Peter Ward tells how he was booed at a science fiction convention, and Neville Woolf has a conversation with his computer.

A Shadow Biosphere
Topic: Extreme Life
In the third in our series of "gedanken" thought experiments, Carol Cleland explores the idea that there could be undiscovered alien life forms on Earth.

Cold Seep Communities
Topic: Extreme Life
Cold seeps are deep-sea environments, usually a few square meters in size, where fluid is released through slow diffusion from the sea floor. Mud volcanoes, which are active areas of fluid seepage, are other extreme environments discovered in the 1990s. These harsh conditions give rise to some of the most extreme and scientifically challenging environments for life to exist on the planet.

Earth's Hidden Biospheres
Topic: Extreme Life
Two recent discoveries in astrobiology challenge many of our assumptions about an integrated biological community on Earth. At the microbial level, it seems that there may be previously hidden biospheres. One such community has been found deeply buried underground, while the other lives in the sea.

Mars Science Laboratory Shakedown in the High Arctic
Topic: Extreme Life
With funding from a NASA ASTEP grant, a team of scientists and engineers last month traveled to the Svalbard archipelago, in the Norwegian high Arctic, to test a suite of instruments that will be part of the payload of NASA´s next Mars rover, Mars Science Laboratory

Golden Bacteria
Topic: Extreme Life
Researchers have discovered an isolated, self-sustaining, bacterial community living under extreme conditions almost two miles deep beneath the surface in a South African gold mine. It is the first microbial community demonstrated to be exclusively dependent on geologically produced sulfur and hydrogen.

Life Below the Limit
Topic: Extreme Life
A class of especially hardy microbes that live in some of the harshest Earthly environments could flourish on cold Mars and other chilly planets, according to a research team of astronomers and microbiologists.

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