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:10/15/2014)... German Gauß-Allianz has admitted Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz ... Rhineland-Palatinate science hub continues to maintain a significant ... , "The acceptance of Johannes Gutenberg University ... is a milestone in the national and international ... The state of Rhineland-Palatinate can be proud that ...
(Date:10/15/2014)... awarded the 44th Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in ... exploring the mechanisms of genomic instability and its implications ... the second alumnus to win the Rosenstiel Award; the ... , Alt is the Charles A. Janeway Professor of ... and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute ...
(Date:10/14/2014)... ATHENS, Ohio (Oct. 14, 2014)—It,s been millions of years ... but a team led by Ohio University scientists is ... to model airflow through dinosaur snouts. The research has ... not only breathe but to enhance the sense of ... pretty ,nosy, animals," said Ohio University doctoral student Jason ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz joins Germany's Gauss-Allianz as a full member 2Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz joins Germany's Gauss-Allianz as a full member 3Brandeis awards 44th Rosenstiel Award to pioneering geneticist Fred Alt 2Dinosaur breathing study shows that noses enhanced smelling and cooled brain 2Dinosaur breathing study shows that noses enhanced smelling and cooled brain 3
(Date:10/20/2014)... 2014 OncLive® is ... Center at Thomas Jefferson University has joined its ... Strategic Alliance Partnership program, the Sidney Kimmel Cancer ... raise awareness of the Center’s cutting-edge research programs, ... Clinicians and other health care professionals from the ...
(Date:10/19/2014)... 2014 The Latin American hardware encryption ... Latin America with analysis and forecast of revenue. This ... is expected to reach $2,366.8 million by 2018, at ... Browse through the TOC of the Latin American hardware ... in-depth analysis provided. It also provides a glimpse of ...
(Date:10/19/2014)... The Asia-Pacific Bromine Market report defines and segments ... forecast of revenue. , Browse through the TOC ... get an idea of the in-depth analysis provided. ... in the Asia-Pacific bromine market, and is supported ... http://www.micromarketmonitor.com/market/asia-pacific-bromine-6741503144.html , Bromine is a volatile and ...
(Date:10/19/2014)... (PRWEB) October 19, 2014 The report ... Market Share, Trade, Prices, Geography Trend and Forecast (2011 ... sales category, and geography and studies the major market ... North America, Europe, and Asia. , The global chocolate ... 2010.to $98.3 billion in 2016 at an estimated CAGR ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University Partners With OncLive 2Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University Partners With OncLive 3The Latin American hardware encryption display market is expected to reach $2,366.8 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 2The Latin American hardware encryption display market is expected to reach $2,366.8 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 3The Asia-Pacific Bromine Market is estimated to grow to $4,080.1 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 2The Asia-Pacific Bromine Market is estimated to grow to $4,080.1 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 3Chocolate Market Projected To Reach $98.3 Billion by 2016 - New Report by MarketsandMarkets 2Chocolate Market Projected To Reach $98.3 Billion by 2016 - New Report by MarketsandMarkets 3Chocolate Market Projected To Reach $98.3 Billion by 2016 - New Report by MarketsandMarkets 4
Cached News: