Recently in the Extremeophiles and Extreme Environments Category


In 2009, scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution embarked on a NASA-funded mission to the Mid-Cayman Rise in the Caribbean, in search of a type of deep-sea hot-spring or hydrothermal vent that they believed held clues to the search for life on other planets.

A quantum change in our understanding of how much of Earth's crust may be habitable.

At one of the world's deepest undersea hydrothermal vents, tiny shrimp are piled on top of each other, layer upon layer, crawling on rock chimneys that spew hot water.

One of the most mysterious forms of life may turn out to be a rich and untapped source of antibacterial drugs.

Antarctic fish that manufacture their own "antifreeze" proteins to survive in the icy Southern Ocean also suffer an unfortunate side effect, researchers report: The protein-bound ice crystals that accumulate inside their bodies resist melting even when temperatures warm.

NASA's Exposing Microorganisms in the Stratosphere (E-MIST) experiment launched to the Earth's stratosphere on the exterior of a giant scientific balloon gondola at about 8 a.m. MST on Aug. 24 from Ft. Sumner, New Mexico.

Researchers this week published a paper confirming that the waters and sediments of a lake that lies 800 meters (2,600 feet) beneath the surface of the West Antarctic ice sheet support "viable microbial ecosystems."

Living Organisms in Oil

Scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen have discovered that these communities of microorganisms play a part in breaking down the oil and have published their findings in the renowned journal Science.

Roy Price first heard about the hydrothermal vents in New Caledonia's Bay of Prony a decade ago. Being a scuba diver and a geologist, he was fascinated by the pictures of a 38-meter-high calcite "chimney" that had precipitated out of the highly-alkaline vent fluid.

Scientists from the University of the Philippines, Los Banos have discovered a new plant species with an unusual lifestyle -- it eats nickel for a living -- accumulating up to 18,000 ppm of the metal in its leaves without itself being poisoned.