Extreme Life

  • Mutant Microbes Test Radiation Resistance
    The bacterium B. subtilis is capable of adapting to UV levels even higher than what existed on the primordial Earth – a harbinger of untapped potential that still lies within some organisms. Mutant versions of this microbe are now being exposed to space radiation
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  • Researchers recently searched the dunes of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for microbial life. The team included scientists and students who explored remote, extreme environments in the deserts of the UAE as analogs for Mars and Saturn's moon, Titan.
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  • A new microscopic 'cloak' could change the way that scientists capture images of bacteria and other cells. The new technology could help uncover new discoveries about life at the cellular level.
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  • Sea-ice algae plays an important role supporting the food web in places like the Arctic Ocean. New research shows that this algae can engineer ice to its advantage by secreting a gel-like mucus that acts as a kind of anti-freeze. The study shows a unique
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  • New evidence shows that saline groundwaters in South Africa may be the oldest known water on Earth. Fractures in rocks in the Witwatersrand Basin that are filled with this water also support the deepest known microbial ecosystem on Earth.
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  • New evidence shows that saline groundwaters in South Africa may be the oldest known water on Earth. Fractures in rocks in the Witwatersrand Basin that are filled with this water also support the deepest known microbial ecosystem on Earth.
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  • The claim of a microbe that swaps arsenic for phosphorus may be questionable, but alternative chemistries for life is still a question worth considering, say researchers.
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  • New research sheds light on how microorganisms are able to 'hibernate' for long periods of time. This unique ability of microorganisms affects entire ecosystems on Earth, and could have implications for the transport of organisms between planets.
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  • Astrobiology Magazine is highlighting the top 10 stories of 2010. The top story of the year was NASA's announcement of a bacterium that appears able to use arsenic instead of phosphorus in its DNA. The discovery may change the definition of life on Earth, and
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  • Astrobiology Magazine is highlighting the top 10 astrobiology stories of 2010. At number 10 is a study that could one day help scientists determine how long viruses have existed on Earth. (Originally published on September 06, 2010).
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