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:
TAG: Microbes Earth may key identifying life other planets

(Date:10/29/2014)... have been blamed for increasing the risk of ... family history of schizophrenia, are widely accepted. Others, ... a parasite transmitted by soil, undercooked meat and ... A new study by Gary Smith, professor of ... Pennsylvania,s School of Veterinary Medicine, used epidemiological modeling ...
(Date:10/29/2014)... number of chemicals from household and industrial products are ... bodies. But for most of them, scientists have yet ... taken the first step toward doing that by estimating ... new method is published in the ACS journal ... and colleagues note that the risks to human health ...
(Date:10/29/2014)... on September 19, 2014, leading geneticist and humanitarian Prof. ... Sciences and Medicine at the University of Washington in ... Aviv University, was awarded the 2014 Lasker-Koshland Special Achievement ... honorary degree from TAU, Prof. King was the 2012-2013 ... for the past 18 years she has been the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Penn vet professor investigates parasite-schizophrenia connection 2Penn vet professor investigates parasite-schizophrenia connection 3Geneticist and humanitarian: Prof. Mary-Claire King receives Lasker Award 2
(Date:10/30/2014)... Ras Al Khaimah, UAE (PRWEB) October 30, 2014 ... the appointment of Dr. James A. Manganello, Chairman of the ... (NSCEC) of The Bahamas. The appointment was made by ... The Bahamas on September 24th, 2014. , More ... Cell Therapy and Research Bill , Prime Minister Perry Christie ...
(Date:10/30/2014)... in the development of quantum technologies has been proposed ... published today (28 October) in Nature Communications , ... a new type of flexibly designed microscopic trap for ... and specialised superfast computers, often depend on harnessing the ... these tiny particles are hugely problematic because of the ...
(Date:10/27/2014)... 27, 2014 The Italian ... exhibit and sell its artificial "lower limb", after ... patent.      (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20141027/713097 ... fighting, the definitive judgement has arrived: Roadrunnerfoot, the ... and accessible hi-tech prostheses with composite materials, has ...
(Date:10/27/2014)... MA (PRWEB) October 27, 2014 ... profit. SoundConnect , an industry leading unified ... its partners and agents to deliver cloud-based audio ... accelerate growth opportunities. , With SoundConnect’s Q4 ... every twenty-five video and/or web conferencing licenses sold, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Grace Century’s Stem Cell Biobank Project Announces Chairman’s Appointment to National Stem Cell Ethics Committee of The Bahamas 2Grace Century’s Stem Cell Biobank Project Announces Chairman’s Appointment to National Stem Cell Ethics Committee of The Bahamas 3Italian Lower Limb Prosthesis Company Wins Lawsuit Against German Giant Ottobock 2SoundConnect Unveils Q4 Partner Incentives 2
Cached News: