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Topic: Extreme Life
Scientists have found that worms dwelling at deep-sea hydrothermal vents opt for temperatures of 45-55 degrees Celsius (113-131 degrees Fahrenheit) when given a choice of conditions, giving them the highest thermal preference of any animal studied to date.

DNA's Dark Side
Topic: Extreme Life
Chemists at Oregon State University have pioneered a controversial theory about how supposedly-stable DNA bases can be pushed into a "dark state" in which they are highly vulnerable to damage from ultraviolet radiation -- an idea that has challenged some of the most basic concepts of modern biochemistry.

Ocean Dust Busters
Topic: Extreme Life
Like most living things, microscopic marine plants need iron and other minerals to live and grow. On land, soil provides a ubiquitous source of minerals, but how do essential nutrients get into vast watery stretches of the open ocean?

Going Deep
Topic: Extreme Life
Very little is known about the microbes that inhabit deep-sea hydrothermal vents, because it is so technically challenging to study them. Chris Scholin of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute plans to take on that challenge, in a project that may some day help scientists search for life on Mars or Europa.

Resisting Radiation
Topic: Extreme Life
To travel among the stars, we must figure out how to survive the harsh radiation of outer space. Studies of radiation-resistant microbes on Earth provide some illuminating insights.

Visualizing Viruses
Topic: Extreme Life
When Boeing and Airbus developed their latest aircraft, the companies' engineers designed and tested them on a computer long before the planes were built. Biologists are catching on. They've just completed the first computer simulation of an entire life form -- a virus.

Ecosystem in Suspended Animation?
Topic: Extreme Life
Deeply buried ocean sediments may house populations of tiny organisms that have extremely low maintenance energy needs and population turnover rates of anywhere from 200 to 2,000 years, according to an international team of researchers.

Martian Gardens
Topic: Extreme Life
One day, humans will step foot on Mars. And they'll be hungry. Growing food on a frozen desert planet with a suffocatingly thin atmosphere, however, will be a challenge. Could microbe genes be the answer?

Are There Aliens Already on Earth?
Topic: Extreme Life
Are there aliens living on Earth? Not the humanoid kind, with big eyes or glowing fingertips. But unfamiliar types of microscopic life, that doesn't use DNA. Geology professor Peter Ward thinks its possible. His new book, Life as We Do Not Know It, explains why.

The Other, Unlifelike Earth
Topic: Extreme Life
Clues to finding current or past life on Mars now or at some point in the past begins with an examination of Earth's most extreme environments and the adaptable microscopic life that thrives there, according to a group of researchers launched an international broadcast science expedition January 30, 2006 with The JASON Project.

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