DailyDirt: Life, Life Everywhere

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Evidence of life hasn't been found outside of our planet (yet?), but life seems to be getting into nearly every nook and cranny of our dear Earth. Places that seem too cold or hot or dark have been shown to harbor life forms that survive in unusual ways, eating substances that aren't normally considered food. Here are just a few examples of these extremophiles that suggest life might exist on other worlds, even if the conditions don't seem ideal. If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post.


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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 16th, 2013 @ 5:28pm

    all these examples are downward...

    how about some microbes that live in the clouds?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 16th, 2013 @ 6:27pm

    One word: Tardigrade

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 17th, 2013 @ 3:46am

    How do they know it's a new species, rather than simply a previously undiscovered one?

     

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    Damitr, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 1:24am

    The Deep Hot Biosphere

    All these pictures have a strong anthrocentric view about life and where it can exist. Just because humans cannot exist in such conditions, it is generally assumed not other life form can.

    Thomas Gold's book The Deep, Hot Biosphere gives an entirely different picture about life on earth and also on formation of "fossil fuels".

    From abstract of his article of same title

    "There are strong indications that microbial life is widespread at depth in the crust of the Earth, just as such life has been identified in numerous ocean vents. This life is not dependent on solar energy and photosynthesis for its primary energy supply, and it is essentially independent of the surface circumstances. Its energy supply comes from chemical sources, due to fluids that migrate upward from deeper levels in the Earth. In mass and volume it may be comparable with all surface life....
    Subsurface life may be widespread among the planetary bodies of our solar system, since many of them have equally suitable conditions below, while having totally inhospitable surfaces. One may even speculate that such life may be widely disseminated in the universe, since planetary type bodies with similar subsurface conditions may be common as solitary objects in space, as well as in other solar-type systems."


    http://www.pnas.org/content/89/13/6045.full.pdf+html

     

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