Sunday, June 10, 2012

Suitable for Life on Mars

CU-Boulder-led team finds microbes in extreme environment on South American volcanoes.

A team led by the University of Colorado Boulder looking for organisms that eke out a living in some of the most inhospitable soils on Earth has found a hardy few.
A new DNA analysis of rocky soils in the Martian-like landscape on some volcanoes in South America has revealed a handful of bacteria, fungi and other rudimentary organisms called archaea, which seem to have a different way of converting energy than their cousins elsewhere in the world.
“We haven’t formally identified or characterized the species,” said Ryan Lynch, a CU-Boulder doctoral student involved in the study.  “But these are very different than anything else that has been cultured. Genetically, they’re at least 5 percent different than anything else in the DNA database of 2.5 million sequences.”

Read the complete story here:

http://www.colorado.edu/news/releases/2012/06/08/cu-boulder-led-team-finds-microbes-extreme-environment-south-american

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