Wednesday, March 02, 2005

271: Life in ice

Ancient bacteria gets busy after thawing out | Science Blog:

The bacterium -- the first fully described, validated species ever found alive in ancient ice -- is NASA's latest discovery of an "extremophile." Extremophiles are hardy life forms that exist and flourish in conditions hostile to most known organisms, from the potentially toxic chemical levels of salt-choked lakes and alkaline deserts to the extreme heat of deep-sea volcanoes. NASA and its partner organizations study the potential for life in such extreme zones to help prepare robotic probes and, eventually, human explorers to search other worlds for signs of life.
Why would we look in those places? Evolution, naturalism. We see life adapting to frozen glaciers, and Titan doesn't seem so bad.