HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
UMass researchers find environment on Earth that mimics Mars geochemically and supports ancient life form

AMHERST, Mass. Deep below the surface of the Beverhead Mountains of Idaho, a research team led by Derek Lovley, head of the microbiology department at the University of Massachusetts, and Francis H. Chappelle of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), has found an unusual community of microoganisms that may hold the key to understanding how life could survive on Mars. Their findings are spelled out in the Jan. 17 issue of the journal Nature (vol. 415).

The microbial community we found in Idaho is unlike any previously described on Earth, said Lovley. This is as close as we have come to finding life on Earth under geological conditions most like those expected below the surface of Mars.

Life requires water and an energy source. The primary energy source for life on earth is sunlight. Plants convert sunlight energy to organic matter that other organisms then use for fuel. On Mars and other planets or moons in our solar system on which life might exist, liquid water is only available below the surface where there is no sunlight. So, if there is life, it must sustain itself with alternative energy sources. This study demonstrates, for the first time, that certain microorganisms can thrive in the absence of sunlight by using hydrogen gas released from deep in the Earths surface as their energy source.

Lovley added: The microbial community found at the Idaho site is remarkably similar to what geochemists have postulated might be found below the surface of Mars, based on what they know of Martian subsurface chemistry. Now that such a community has been discovered, we can use it to test hypotheses about hydrogen-based subsurface life, and use these findings to develop strategies for searching for similar microbial communities on other planets.

According to Lovley, geologists and microbiologists have searched for at least a decade for a community of microorganisms on Earth that could survive on hydrogen, somewhere underground, away from sunl
'"/>

Contact: Paula Hartman Cohen
phcohen@admin.umass.edu
413-545-2987
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
16-Jan-2002


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. UMass scientist identifies gene that governs obesity, physical activity, sex behaviors in mice
2. UMass team to study bioremediation of acid, heavy metals from collapsed mind
3. Microorganisms are cleaning up Boston Harbor, UMass study finds
4. UMass researcher helping the EPA to determine health effects of spent rocket fuel
5. UMass anthropologist investigates dental development and body size in primates
6. UMass microbiology team probes bacteriums surprising survival tactics
7. UMass study uses microbes to turn mud into electricity
8. A sticky situation for ants and bees: UMass biologist looks at how these insects adhere to various surfaces
9. UMass sponsoring world environmental conference
10. Galapagos finches sing different mating songs due to evolutionary diversification of beaks, says UMass biologist
11. New species arise more quickly than previously believed, UMass researcher finds

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


(Date:10/27/2019)... ... October 26, 2019 , ... Since 2010, The HOTH has served over ... the success of their clients, they’ve earned a place on the highly-competitive and desirable ... won many additional awards and accolades along the way. , Now, The HOTH ...
(Date:10/26/2019)... ... October 24, 2019 , ... World Cord Blood Day (WCBD) takes place ... midwives to learn about the current and future uses of cord blood stem cells, ... being used to treat and cure over 80 different life-threatening diseases, including leukemia, lymphoma, ...
(Date:10/26/2019)... ... October 25, 2019 , ... ... therapy in La Plata, MD. Orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMDs) are abnormal movement patterns ... and speaks. This can include anything from difficulty swallowing and limited tongue movement ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/8/2019)... ... October 07, 2019 , ... Erchonia Corporation, the global ... today announces that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted the ... temporary relief of chronic neck and shoulder pain of musculoskeletal origin. , Erchonia ...
(Date:10/3/2019)... ... October 01, 2019 , ... ... and reset itself, announced the midway point of its randomized research trial for ... study is to measure the efficacy of a non-invasive technology which compares tones ...
(Date:10/3/2019)... ... 02, 2019 , ... Today marked the official launch of ... program outsourcing success by cultivating radical improvements in leadership, staff, and broader project ... Reese, phaseUP™ brings clients deep, broad and unique expertise in the intricacies of ...
(Date:10/3/2019)... ... October 02, 2019 , ... eKare’s inSight® digital 3D imaging and wound ... by the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network (EMAHSN), the innovation arm of the ... by providing support to develop and deploy solutions to the most pressing challenges facing ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: