HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Life In Antarctic Ice May Compare To Mars

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Bacterial colonies are thriving underneath ice on one of the coldest, driest deserts on Earth, researchers have discovered, in conditions that might compare to those on Mars or Europa and provide insights for life forms that could be found elsewhere in our solar system.

The study will be reported Friday in the journal Science.

This study was conducted on ice-covered lakes in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica, which has an average annual temperature about 68 degrees below zero and gets less than four inches of precipitation a year.

But in that frigid, arid environment, scientists at Oregon State University and four other institutions found liquid water pockets embedded about six feet deep in solid ice, where a combination of sediments, water and solar radiation during long summer days supports a viable population of bacteria.

"This is a very barren environment with virtually nothing we usually associate with living organisms," said Stephen Giovannoni, an associate professor of microbiology at Oregon State University. "But these photosynthetic cyanobacteria are alive, self-sufficient, and growing. They're able to live through the harsh freeze-thaw cycle of the seasons, fix nitrogen and release oxygen as they make carbohydrates from water and carbon dioxide."

"They have their own little world there we knew nothing about."

The nutritional requirements of these life forms are minimal, Giovannoni said - a little light, water, carbon dioxide, phosphate, nitrate and other minerals. But in fact the primitive life processes they are undertaking are quite similar to those that first formed the oxygen-rich atmosphere of Earth and made higher life forms possible.

And in the study, the researchers cite two locations where they feel conditions may exist that are similar to those found in barren Antarctica - Mars, and a large moon of Jupiter, Europa.

"It's been
'"/>

Contact: Stephen Giovannoni
giovanns@bcc.orst.edu
541-737-1835
Oregon State University
25-Jun-1998


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Dispute over life in Antarctic lake
2. Design competition for new Antarctic Research Station
3. The Hunters Breath tells a story of adventure and discovery in Antarctica
4. Antarctic fish study may aid cardiac research
5. A lost world: Two previously unknown dinosaurs discovered in Antarctica
6. Abandoned penguin colonies may help refine Antarctic climate studies
7. British Antarctic Survey wins environment award
8. Explanation offered for Antarcticas blood falls
9. Antarctic penguins thrive in ocean oases
10. Huge iceberg wreaks havoc on Antarctic marine ecosystem, study finds
11. Huge Antarctic iceberg makes a big splash on sea life

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/24/2017)... 2017 Janice Kephart , former ... Strategy Partners, LLP (IdSP) , today issues the ... Trump,s March 6, 2017 Executive Order: Protecting ... can be instilled with greater confidence, enabling the ... refugee applications are suspended by until at least ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... According to a new market research report "Consumer ... Administration, and Authorization), Service, Authentication Type, Deployment Mode, Vertical, and Region - ... to grow from USD 14.30 Billion in 2017 to USD 31.75 Billion ... ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
(Date:4/6/2017)... LONDON , April 6, 2017 ... Control, RFID, ANPR, Document Readers, by End-Use (Transportation & ... Energy Facility, Oil, Gas & Fossil Generation Facility, Nuclear ... Healthcare, Educational, Other) Are you looking for ... Authentication sector? ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2017 , ... ... Certification Program (ESTCP), powder activated carbon (PAC)-based materials do not have negative short- ... community at a site contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) located at the Puget ...
(Date:6/26/2017)... Milwaukee, WI (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2017 , ... ... today in role of Sales Director, focused on leading new business development and ensuring ... 10 years of experience in the food ingredient industry in technical, marketing and sales ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... RURO, Inc., a ... of LimitLIS®, its rapidly growing Laboratory Information System. , LimitLIS® version 3 is ... integrity, and provide more customization options. Each of these has been “under the ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... June 21, 2017 , ... ... top executive talent in the life sciences industry, today announces a strategic partnership ... The partnership takes full advantage of Beaker’s expertise in executive recruitment solutions, providing ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: