Extreme Life

  • The Invasion of the Deep-sea Microbes
    The microscopic life around hydrothermal vents may have an ancient heritage -- genetic comparisons suggest that modern vent microbes are close kin to the earliest forms of life on Earth.
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  • Glass Munchers under the Sea
    A team of researchers recently announced that they have found the deepest-living microbes on the planet that eats into rock at the bottom of the sea floor
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  • The Three Domains of Life
    When scientists first started to classify life, everything was designated as either an animal or a plant. But as new forms of life were discovered, the original classification was not sufficient enough to organize the diversity and complexity of life.
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  • Life Down Under
    Recent work by Christopher Chyba (SETI Institute) and Kevin Hand (Stanford University) suggests that there may be ways to nourish biology in watery environments where the Sun's rays don't penetrate.
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  • How Small Can Life Be?
    As advanced microscopes enable us to peer deeper into the realms of inner space, biologists have been faced with a vexing question: Is there a size limit on life?
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  • Raising Baby Tubeworms
    For years scientists have wondered how giant red-tipped tubeworms and other exotic marine life found at hydrothermal vents get from place to place and how long their larva survive in a cold, eternally dark place. Now biologist Lauren Mullineaux and colleagues have helped answer
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  • Unpuzzling Proteins
    Thanks to a new supercomputer, scientists may be a step closer to understanding one of nature's more difficult puzzles.
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  • Keeping
    Using a novel detector attached to a submarine, a research team led by University of Delaware marine scientists has determined that water chemistry controls the location and distribution of two species of weird worms that inhabit deep-sea hydrothermal vent sites.
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  • Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea
    An expedition to geysers on the floor of the Indian Ocean is studying how animals there evolve and disperse geographically.
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  • Some Like it Hot
    NASA astrobiologist Jack Farmer studies microorganisms.
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  • Looking for life, Astrobiologists Dive Deep
    Coral-like mounds on the floor of a Canadian lake may make it easier someday to identify life on other planets.
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  • Terrestrial Powerhouses
    A remarkable protein called bacteriorhodopsin converts light into metabolic energy. After 30 years of investigations, this protein has finally revealed some of its secrets.
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  • Pyruving the Origin of Life
    For the origin of life, chemical synthesis of pyruvic acid is a critical step. In a difficult experiment, Carnegie Institute/NAI researchers report that the natural synthesis of such compounds would occur wherever hot ocean vents pass through iron sulfide-containing crust.
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