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Dry Signs of Life
Topic: Extreme Life
A unique rover-based life detection system developed by Carnegie Mellon University scientists has found signs of life in Chile's Atacama Desert. This marks the first time a rover-based automated technology has been used to identify life in this harsh region.

Lost City Life Methane-Powered
Topic: Extreme Life
This week researchers publish for the first time findings about gases produced at mid-Atlantic site called Lost City and organisms that make their living off them. Both are different from so-called black-smoker hydrothermal vents that they may provide a whole new avenue for looking for the earliest life on Earth.

The Ancient Splice of Life
Topic: Extreme Life
One of the key motivations for revisiting the probability of life elsewhere in the universe is the surprising proclivity of life in hostile places on Earth. New findings suggest that modern organisms may have useless DNA fragments today that once saved their ancestors lives in extreme environments.

Aliens of the Deep
Topic: Extreme Life
Film director and exploration enthusiast James Cameron (Titanic, Aliens) gave Stanford graduate student Kevin Hand a chance to search for "alien" life close to home-- a mere 2 miles below the ocean surface-- as part of Cameron's IMAX documentary, Aliens of the Deep, which opens today.

The Incredible Edible Universe
Topic: Extreme Life
There are many examples of bacteria living in
extreme environments -- including the human body -- using hydrogen as fuel. A new sampling technique has uncovered a hydrogen economy going on now in the hot springs of Yellowstone.

Diving for Life under Antarctic Ice
Topic: Extreme Life
Life manages to hang on pretty much anywhere on Earth where there's liquid water. Ice-covered lakes in Antarctica are no exception. But to study the microbes that hang out down under the ice, researchers have to do some risky diving. Dale Andersen is a pioneer of the technique.

Life Slogging Through Bogs
Topic: Extreme Life
The limits to life have consistently listed carbon-based organisms as central. While methane-consuming microbes are still carbon-based, they do offer novel ways to extract energy even without light or oxygen. Their role in our solar system is a subject of fruitful speculation.

Living Above the Tree Line, Inside a Rock
Topic: Extreme Life
Are there places on Earth devoid of life? One of the most barren spots on the planet is above the tree line, where glaciers strip the land of nutrients and life. But enough dissolved organics may flow in melting streams to point to microbial life where no life was previously imagined.

Apollo 12 Remembered
Topic: Extreme Life
This last week marked the thirty-fifth anniversary of the precision landing for Apollo 12. The mission sought to retrieve a camera casing from the robotic Surveyor 3 which had survived three years on the surface. But did biology sneak into their equation? The debate is examined with fresh historical perspective.

Studying Slime
Topic: Extreme Life
Penny Boston, a member of the SLIME team - Subsurface Life in Mineral Environments - spends much of her life underground. She explores caves, studying the bizarre microbial life forms that inhabit them. These unique environments, very different from the surface world that we live in, hold important clues to finding life on other planets.

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