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"Arsenic Life" Needs Phosphorus After All
Topic: Extreme Life
Summary: Two new reports show that the bacterium known as GFAJ-1 requires small amounts of phosphate to grow, and that it cannot substitute arsenic for phosphorus to survive, as one previous report had suggested.

The Toughest Life on Earth
Topic: Extreme Life
Summary: Research on the International Space Station is providing important data about the potential for life arriving on Earth from outer space. By exposing organic compounds and living organisms to space, scientists are studying the survival of life in the extreme environment that rests beyond Earth's atmosphere.

Unique Life Discovered in Barren Soil
Topic: Extreme Life
Summary: A new DNA analysis of soils from the Atacama desert has revealed a handful of new bacteria, fungi and archaea. The organisms discovered have a different way of converting energy than similar organisms found elsewhere in the world.

Abundant Life Under the Ice
Topic: Extreme Life
Summary: Researchers have discovered a massive bloom of phytoplankton beneath ice-covered Arctic waters. The amount of phytoplankton was four times greater than the amount found in ice-free waters.

Hitching a Ride to the Surface
Topic: Extreme Life
Summary: Scientists have discovered that some hardy organisms living around deep-sea vents can survive the extreme change in pressure that occurs when a research submersible rises to the surface.

Seeking Signs of Life at the Glacier’s Edge
Topic: Extreme Life
Summary: 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
Summary: 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.

The Black Queen Hypothesis
Topic: Extreme Life
Summary: A new theory may help explain why some microorganisms can appear to lose the ability to perform a function necessary for survival - yet still endure and even reproduce.

Life in the Slow Lane
Topic: Extreme Life
Summary: Bacteria are the only organisms known to produce D-amino acids that deposit a chemical signature in the environment. Now, scientists are using this knowledge to develop a method for calculating the activity level of microorganisms in mud deep below the seas of Earth.

Lake Untersee, Antarctica
Topic: Extreme Life
Summary: In 2008, scientists discovered large conical stromatolites forming beneath the thick perennial ice of Lake Untersee. In his blog from Antarctica, astrobiologist Dale Andersen discusses recent work on this mysterious subglacial lake.

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