Recently in the Extremeophiles and Extreme Environments Category


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.

In the movies, humans often fear invaders from Mars. These days, scientists are more concerned about invaders to Mars, in the form of micro-organisms from Earth. Three recent scientific papers examined the risks of interplanetary exchange of organisms using research from the International Space Station.

More than a mile beneath the ocean's surface, as dark clouds of mineral-rich water billow from seafloor hot springs called hydrothermal vents, unseen armies of viruses and bacteria wage war.

Deep-sea hydrothermal plumes--waters nearly two miles down in the ocean--are home to processes that effect life across the planet. However, high pressure and water temperatures that exceed 300 degrees Celsius have made research on the plumes very difficult.

Microbiologist Jill Mikucki first saw a photo of Blood Falls during a class for her master's degree at Portland State University. It immediately captivated her.

If you have been watching the new series "Cosmos" recently then you have see Tardigrades or "water bears" featured. These creatures are remarkably resistant to a wide range of conditions that humans would consider extreme - if not deadly.

Imagine you're a leech, happily making a living on a turtle in some quiet, freshwater pond. What do you do when winter comes and temperatures in your warm little habitat begins to dip below freezing?

Researchers from the British Antarctic Survey and Reading University have demonstrated that, after over 1,500 years frozen in Antarctic ice, moss can come back to life and continue to grow.

How Deep Inside Our Planet Can Life Exist?

The Sun was once thought to provide energy for all life on Earth - meaning that life could not survive without it. In the 20th century, as astrobiologists began to explore the Earth's most remote and harsh environments, scientists began to question that assumption.