Extreme Life

  • Extreme Lifeforms: Nothing to Sneeze At
    With more than 3500 viruses classified, a great mystery still remains as to whether they are alive at all. For examples like polio and rhinovirus, they present the only known examples of self-replication without using DNA for code storage.
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  • Ice Diary 6: Contacting The Mother Pod
    The Ice Diary series explores the adventures of a dedicated group of meteor hunters. The National Science Foundation, NASA and the Smithsonian collect and curate extraterrestrial samples scoured from the South Pole. The team reports back on the first 214 meteorites, and their daily
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  • Ghost Hunters
    A recent expedition to Australia followed the trail of the extinct Tasmanian tiger. Astrobiology Magazine had the opportunity to interview one of the expedition participants, New York-based artist, Alexis Rockman, as he reflected on global biodiversity.
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  • Small World
    A discovery from the early 1990s continues to be controversial today. Are the tiny, mineralized particles called nanobacteria the world's smallest organisms or mere crystal growth? Skeptics remain unconvinced that nanobacteria are alive, but nanobacteria researchers say evidence in their favor is mounting.
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  • Ice Diary 5: MacAlpine Hills or Bust
    The Ice Diary series explores the adventures of a dedicated group of meteor hunters. The National Science Foundation, NASA and the Smithsonian collect and curate extraterrestrial samples scoured from the South Pole. The diary entries provide a personal tour of a recent expedition, with
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  • Ice Diary 4: The Hunt Begins
    The Ice Diary series explore the adventures of a dedicated group of meteor hunters. The National Science Foundation, NASA and the Smithsonian collect and curate extraterrestrial samples scoured from the South Pole. This week's chroniclers get whipped by the Kabatics: frigid air that sinks
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  • Ice Diary 3: Cheer for Team Meteorite
    The Ice Diary series explores the adventures of a dedicated group of meteor hunters. The National Science Foundation, NASA and the Smithsonian collect and curate extraterrestrial samples scoured from the South Pole. This week's chronicle highlights the food, history and ecosystem of
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  • Ice Diary 2: Great Scott, A Ghost
    The "Ice Diary" series explores the adventures of a dedicated group of meteor hunters. The National Science Foundation, NASA and the Smithsonian collect and curate extraterrestrial samples scoured from the South Pole. In this chronicle, our explorers consider ghosts of pioneer trekkers like Robert
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  • Ice Diary I: Shooting Stars on Ice
    The "Ice Diary" series explores the adventures of a dedicated group of meteor hunters at the South Pole. During the season when the sun never sets, this expedition series follows their quest step-by-step, as they chase astrobiology's most precious stones: the Martian samples.
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  • Jailhouse Rock
    The birthplace of life on Earth remains a controversial topic. A new hypothesis suggests that life originated in iron sulfide deposits at hydrothermal vents. These metal cells may have held the prebiotic chemicals of life captive.
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  • Conan the Bacterium
    Radiation-resistant organism reveals its defense strategies is a ring of DNA, Weizmann Institute researchers report in Science
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  • The Driest Place on Earth
    How much water does life need to survive? Chile's Atacama desert hold some interesting clues - clues that may help researchers in the hunt for life on Mars.
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  • Millenium Life on Ice
    Peter Doran of the University of Illinois at Chicago and colleagues have uncovered an extreme lake -- and ancient microbes ---by drilling into Lake Vida, a Mars-like Antarctic environment. Remarkably the researchers revived viable microbes that are at least 2,800 years old.
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  • Minimalist Life
    Microbiologist Karl Stetter travels the world hunting game, small game. In May, he revealed the discovery of a new archaean, at 400 nanometers so small it rides the surface of another merely normally small archaean.
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  • Surviving the Final Frontier
    Could life on Earth have spread to other planets? Or the other way around? An idea nearly 140 years old is resurfacing in a new form: microbes surviving space travel inside meteorites. Shielded from the intense radiation of the sun, dried out microbes could survive
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