Tag Archives: microbial life

Could detoxing Mars soil lead to new medicines?

Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is one of humankind’s major long-term health challenges. Now research into helping humans live on Mars could help address this looming problem. Dennis Claessen, associate professor at the Institute of Biology in Leiden University, the Netherlands … Continue reading

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Can organisms survive on Mars, and can we identify them?

Earth is a very special planet. It is the only celestial body in the Solar System on which we know life exists. Could there be life on other planets or moons? Mars is always the first to be mentioned in … Continue reading

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How should astronauts search for life on Mars?

An international team of researchers, which includes scientists from McMaster’s School of Geography & Earth Sciences, NASA, and others, is tackling one of the biggest problems of space travel to Mars: what happens when we get there? A series of … Continue reading

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Field test: Robotic rover collects subsurface samples with patchy, specialized microbial life

[Editor’s note: From a paper by Kimberley Warren-Rhodes and eight co-authors recently published in Frontiers in Microbiology.] Subsurface Microbial Habitats in an Extreme Desert Mars-Analog Environment Sediments in the hyper-arid core of the Atacama Desert are a terrestrial analog to … Continue reading

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Rain brings death in Mars-like Atacama desert

When rains fell on the arid Atacama Desert, it was reasonable to expect floral blooms to follow. Instead, the water brought death. An international team of planetary astrobiologists has found that after encountering never-before-seen rainfall three years ago at the … Continue reading

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Early Mars: Right ingredients for subsurface life

A new study shows that the breakdown of water molecules trapped in ancient Martian rocks likely produced enough chemical energy to sustain microorganisms for hundreds of millions of years beneath the Red Planet’s surface. (…) “We showed, based on basic … Continue reading

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Organic matter in acidic terrestrial stream suggests where to look for life on Mars

By studying streams on the UK coast, experts have calculated how much organic matter we might find on Mars, and where to look. Dorset is home to highly acidic sulphur streams that host bacteria that thrive in extreme conditions. One … Continue reading

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Finding martian fossils: A field guide

This paper [A Field Guide to Finding Fossils on Mars, by S. McMahon, T. Bosak, J. P. Grotzinger, R. E. Milliken, R. E. Summons, M. Daye, S. A. Newman, A. Fraeman, K. H. Williford, D. E. G. Briggs, Journal of Geophysical … Continue reading

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Ancient Mars life: Clues from toxic volcanic lake?

Researchers at CU Boulder have discovered microbes living in a toxic volcanic lake that may rank as one of the harshest environments on Earth. Their findings, published recently online [in Astrobiology], could guide scientists looking for signs of ancient life on … Continue reading

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Dormant microbial life in Atacama Desert goes active when wet — true for Mars, too?

It may rain once a decade or less in South America’s Atacama Desert, but tiny bacteria and microorganisms survive there, hinting at the possibility of similar life on Mars, researchers said Monday. [Their report was published in the Proceedings of … Continue reading

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