Recently in the Extremeophiles and Extreme Environments Category


How Tardigrades Survive The Extremes

Diminutive animals known as tardigrades appear to us as plump, squeezable toys, earning them irresistible nicknames such as "water bears" and "moss piglets."

Microbial life on Mars may potentially be transported across the planet on dust particles carried by wind, according to a study conducted in the Atacama Desert in North Chile, a well-known Mars analogue. The findings are published in Scientific Reports.

Geothermal manifestations at Earth's surface can be mapped and characterized by a variety of well-established exploration methods. However, mapping hydrothermal vents in aquatic environments is more challenging as conventional methods can no longer be applied.

In recent years, the idea of life on other planets has become less far-fetched. NASA announced June 27 that it will send a vehicle to Saturn's icy moon, Titan, a celestial body known to harbor surface lakes of methane and an ice-covered ocean of water, boosting its chance for supporting life.

High in the Andes Mountains, dagger-shaped ice spires house thriving microbial communities, offering an oasis for life in one of Earth's harshest environments as well as a possible analogue for life on other planets.

Salt-tolerant bacteria grown in brine were able to revive after the brine was put through a cycle of drying and rewetting.

Researchers at Stanford University have found an aquatic highway that releases nutrients from within the Earth and ferries them up to surface waters off the coast of Antarctica. There the nutrients stimulate explosive growth of microscopic ocean algae.

Germs and Geothermals

The collaboration is looking at a group of organisms called 'extremophiles'--organisms that live in extremely hot or extremely cold environments unsuited to human habitation.

The first study of ultra-small bacteria living in the extreme environment of Ethiopia's Dallol hot springs shows that life can thrive in conditions similar to those thought to have been found on the young planet Mars.

Scientists from the University of East Anglia have discovered a unique oil eating bacteria in the deepest part of the Earth's oceans - the Mariana Trench.