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:7/28/2014)... About 100 drugs already approved by the U.S. Food ... prevent the growth of certain bacterial pathogens inside human ... Mediterranean spotted fever. The findings, published in mBio ... for Microbiology, demonstrate a new way of identifying non-antibiotic ... , A handful of drugs on the list ...
(Date:7/28/2014)... discovery of two additional coral communities showing signs of damage ... of the 2010 spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The ... professor of biology at Penn State University. A paper describing ... in the Gulf of Mexico will be published during the ... of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of ...
(Date:7/28/2014)... Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen reached the South Pole in ... arrived long before any human. , Using data from ... the Antarctic continent, including the South Pole, a group ... (DRI) in Reno, Nevada, created the most accurate and ... southernmost continent. The new record, described in an article ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):New route to identify drugs that can fight bacterial infections 2Impact of Deepwater Horizon oil spill on coral is deeper and broader than predicted 2Lead pollution beat explorers to South Pole, persists today 2Lead pollution beat explorers to South Pole, persists today 3
(Date:7/25/2014)...  Galmed Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (Nasdaq: GLMD ) ... and commercialization of a once-daily, oral therapy for the ... financial results for the period ended June 30, 2014. ... Reported cash and cash equivalents totaling $37.4 million on ... 2013.  , Reported a net loss of $3.9 ...
(Date:7/25/2014)... July 25, 2014 At the request ... granted a 60-day extension for the public comment period ... Rule for Model Aircraft established by Congress as part ... The 60-day extension establishes the new deadline for comments ... Department of Transportation/FAA notice published in the Federal Register ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... - July 24, 2014 -- Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:KERX) ... long-term, randomized, active control Phase 3 study of Zerenex ... binder, for the treatment of hyperphosphatemia in patients with ... (PhosphatE binding and iRon delivery with FErric CiTrate in ... of the American Society of Nephrology ( JASN ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... CA (PRWEB) July 24, 2014 ... the Global Supply Chain of the biotech industry. ... SCM Innovation Awards, brought to you by the ... global organization of supply chain management professionals for ... given to stakeholders of the Biotech industry – ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Galmed Pharmaceuticals Reports First Half 2014 Financial Results 2Galmed Pharmaceuticals Reports First Half 2014 Financial Results 3Galmed Pharmaceuticals Reports First Half 2014 Financial Results 4Galmed Pharmaceuticals Reports First Half 2014 Financial Results 5Galmed Pharmaceuticals Reports First Half 2014 Financial Results 6FAA Grants Comment Extension at the Request of AMA 2Zerenex (ferric citrate) long-term Phase 3 study results published in JASN 2Zerenex (ferric citrate) long-term Phase 3 study results published in JASN 3Zerenex (ferric citrate) long-term Phase 3 study results published in JASN 4Call for Submission: BSMA’s Supply Chain Management Innovation Awards 2Call for Submission: BSMA’s Supply Chain Management Innovation Awards 3
Cached News: