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Astrobiology Top 10: Through a Glass Darkly
Topic: Extreme Life
12/26/08
Summary: Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2008, highlighting the top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 8 is the possibility that ancient microbes may have lived in volcanic rock, feeding off of elements contained within their glassy home. (This story originally was published in Astrobiology Magazine, European Edition on August 18, 2008).

Astrobiology Top 10: Life is Lonely at the Center of the Earth
Topic: Extreme Life
12/25/08
Summary: Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2008, highlighting the top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 9 is the story of Desulforudis audaxviator, a bacterium that lives in total darkness. Scientists now have discovered it also lives in complete isolation. Almost all organisms on Earth live in interdependent communities, but the lonely D. audaxviator proves it's possible for life to go solo. (This story originally was published on October 11, 2008).

Solar-Powered Slugs
Topic: Extreme Life
11/29/08
Summary: The sea-slug, Elysia chlorotica, represents a unique step in the evolution of life. The slug appears to behave like a plant and can get energy from the sun. New research shows that the slug has genes needed for photosynthesis - but steals important cellular components from algae.

Life at the Boundaries
Topic: Extreme Life
11/19/08
Summary: Scientists have found unique microbes living in environments where life was not known before. Both communities - beneath the Antarctic ice sheet and at the floor of the Mediterranean - could have an effect on the global carbon cycle.

Life's Boiling Point
Topic: Extreme Life
11/10/08
Summary: Some proteins can work above the boiling point of water, but these vital biomolecules may have a harder time evolving at high temperature. A new project is searching for the maximum temperature for protein-based life.

Seeing Life in Viruses
Topic: Extreme Life
10/27/08
Summary: From Astrobiology Magazine, European Edition is a story about research conducted by Kirsi Lehto of the University of Turku in Finland. Lehto studies plant viruses with an eye toward their role in the origin and evolution of life.

"Alien" Water Bears Amaze Scientists
Topic: Extreme Life
10/16/08
Summary: Tardigrades, commonly known as "water bears", have been reared under laboratory conditions and subjected to a barrage of tests. Their survivability shows that animals can survive extreme conditions, and also may indicate how humans could adapt to the rigors of space.

Life is Lonely at the Center of the Earth
Topic: Extreme Life
10/11/08
Summary: Deep in the Mponeng gold mine near Johannesburg, South Africa, a rod-shaped bacterium named Desulforudis audaxviator lives in total darkness. Now scientists have discovered through genetic analysis that this organism also lives in complete isolation. Almost all organisms on Earth live in interdependent communities, but the lonely D. audaxviator proves it's also possible for life to go solo.

Swashbuckling Scientists Discover Northern Vents
Topic: Extreme Life
09/18/08
Summary: From Astrobiology Magazine, European Edition is a story of how researchers recently explored the ocean floor between Greenland and Norway. They discovered hydrothermal vents that support an extremophile ecosystem. The find supports the idea that biological communities could exist on other worlds.

When Microbes Move In
Topic: Extreme Life
09/12/08
Summary: A team working high in the Peruvian Andes has discovered how microbes swiftly colonize barren soils uncovered by melting glaciers. The study shows how microbes are able to establish themselves in one of Earth's most extreme environments, and how these unique organisms are adapting to climate change.

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