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:
TAG: Life Antarctic Ice May Compare Mars

(Date:4/22/2014)... research projects study the effects of temperature and precipitation ... However, an important component of climate research, the UV-B ... in collaboration with their colleagues from the Universities in ... from the U.S. NASA space agency in such a ... influence of UV-B radiation on organisms. , The basic ...
(Date:4/22/2014)... another way of asking him or her to behave ... cells of the immune system tend to misbehave with ... these cells are known to misbehave similarly during spaceflight, ... cells to better understand how our immune systems change ... on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health, ...
(Date:4/22/2014)... Recent projects in two Minnesota cities demonstrate how ... projects continue a ten year program in New ... plans tailored to local conditions. , "Our goal ... protect themselves," said program co-leader Latham Stack, of ... have already worsened. We help communities move beyond ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):UV-radiation data to help ecological research 2For an immune cell, microgravity mimics aging 2For an immune cell, microgravity mimics aging 3For an immune cell, microgravity mimics aging 4For an immune cell, microgravity mimics aging 5Minnesota projects offer hope and practical help to communities facing more extreme storms 2
(Date:1/15/2014)... Sunnyvale, CA (PRWEB) January 15, 2014 ... throughput research solutions, today announced that Lupin Limited, one ... of Freeslate’s CM Protégé PharmD System for ... in Mumbai, India, is focused on a wide range ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... San Diego, CA (PRWEB) January 14, 2014 ... based on the products of cells grown under simulated ... an international license agreement with Suneva Medical, Inc. for ... media (CCM). , This agreement is an ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... BETHESDA, Md. , Jan. 14, 2014  Organovo ... institutes from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to ... more effective treatments to patients on a faster timeline. ... Translational Sciences (NCATS) and the National Eye Institute (NEI) ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... Ontario , Jan. 14, 2014   Kinaxis ®, provider ... SCM ) and sales and operations planning ( S&OP ) ... Biomanufacturing Summit , which will be held at the ... the conference, join Kinaxis customer Elisabeth Kaszas , Director ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Lupin Selects Freeslate’s CM Protégé PharmD System to Accelerate Polymorph Screening for Drug Development 2Lupin Selects Freeslate’s CM Protégé PharmD System to Accelerate Polymorph Screening for Drug Development 3Histogen and Suneva Medical Expand License for Cell Conditioned Media-based Aesthetic Products Internationally 2Histogen and Suneva Medical Expand License for Cell Conditioned Media-based Aesthetic Products Internationally 3Organovo Announces Collaboration with National Institutes of Health 2Organovo Announces Collaboration with National Institutes of Health 3Event Alert: Kinaxis Customer to Present at the Biomanufacturing Summit "Supply Chain: Improving Network Effectiveness" 2
Cached News: