Life discovered in extreme environment

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Monday, January 10, 2005

Around seventy new species of microbes have been discovered in a highly concentrated salt basin of the Mediterranean Sea, so salty that almost half of the liquid is magnesium chloride. Researchers, led by Paul van der Wielen at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, found abundant colonies of halophile microbes in ancient salty pockets that are devoid of oxygen.

It has been suggested that pools of a similar liquid might be able to exist on Mars, providing a possible niche for simple life to exist there.

Sources

Nature Microbes brave briny basins 6 January 2005

NASA Martian Water: Are There Extant Halobacteria on Mars? 2001

Yahoo/Reuters Salt-Loving Microbes Found in Extreme Environment 6 January 2005

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