HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Microbes on Earth may be key to identifying life on other planets

Evidence of life in Martian meteorites or future rock samples from the Red Planet may be easier to identify thanks to microbes living in hot springs at Yellowstone National Park.

"The existence of life itself can change the physical and chemical attributes in an environment of deposition," said Bruce Fouke, a geologist at the University of Illinois. "By studying the effects of microbial metabolism on the chemistry of the water and on the way minerals are deposited in Earth environments, we can better interpret samples from other planets for signs of life."

For example, various carbonate features -- including tiny, rod-shaped calcite crystals -- found in the Martian meteorite ALH84001 could have been formed by either organic or inorganic means. To help interpret whether such shapes are indicative of life, Fouke has established a systematic model for the deposition of travertine by actively flowing hot springs at Angel Terrace at Mammoth Hot Springs.

"Travertine is a crystalline form of calcite that forms where subsurface waters erupt, cool, de-gas and precipitate calcium-carbonate minerals with a variety of crystal morphologies and chemical compositions," Fouke said. "In this setting, we are examining the environmental feedback mechanisms that exist between water, microbes and the precipitation of travertine."

Mammoth Hot Springs, near the northern boundary of Yellowstone National Park, is one of the world's largest sites of travertine accumulation. The travertine deposits at Mammoth Hot Springs are approximately 8,000 years old, 73 meters thick and cover more than 4 square kilometers.

"Yellowstone is an ideal laboratory because of the high precipitation rates and the abundance of microbes," Fouke said. "By documenting where we find certain calcite shapes in the spring system, we can link those shapes with a particular water flow, chemistry and microbe. With that environmental context, we can start to decipher the geological record and to rec
'"/>

Contact: James E. Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor
kloeppel@uiuc.edu
217-244-1073
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
30-Apr-2000


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Microbes eat their way to better concrete
2. Microbes found in Mayan ruins may deteriorate stone from inside out
3. Microbes active in Colorado snows fuel tundra ecosystem
4. Microbes blueprints promise insights into oceans, more
5. Microbes related to infant lung infections reduced using specialized ventilation system device
6. Microbes and the dust they ride in on pose potential health risks
7. "Microbes deep within South African gold mines" subject of NSF lecture
8. Microbes make mine-waste drinkable, Science researchers report
9. Microbes in basalt thrive on mixed diet of toxic waste
10. Microbes work magic on hazardous air pollutants
11. Chemical Reaction Believed To Support Underground Microbes Is Now Unlikely

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


(Date:4/28/2016)... SAN FRANCISCO and BANGALORE, India ... part of EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... service provider, today announced a global partnership that ... convenient way to use mobile banking and payment services. ... Mobility is a key innovation area for financial services, but ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... , April 27, 2016 ... "Global Multi-modal Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report to their ... , The analysts forecast the global ... of 15.49% during the period 2016-2020.  ... of sectors such as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... April 15, 2016 Research ... Gait Biometrics Market 2016-2020,"  report to their offering.  ... ) , ,The global gait biometrics market is ... during the period 2016-2020. Gait analysis ... can be used to compute factors that are ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... on what they believe could be a new and helpful biomarker for malignant ... Click here to read it now. , Biomarkers are components in ...
(Date:6/27/2016)...  Liquid Biotech USA , ... Sponsored Research Agreement with The University of Pennsylvania ... cancer patients.  The funding will be used to ... clinical outcomes in cancer patients undergoing a variety ... employed to support the design of a therapeutic, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial ... Cary 5000 and the 6000i models are higher end machines that use the more ... the spectrophotometer’s light beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical , an ... designed to target cancer stemness pathways, announced that ... Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and ... cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin is ... inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, and ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: