Bacteria Living in Glacier

Posted on July 15, 2006  Comments (1)

photo of sulfur stained snow in the Artic

Arctic Expedition lead by the Arctic Institute of North America to explore bacteria living in an artic glacier. The photo shows sulfur site with living bacteria.

More information on the study:

Grasby also sent some of the water and mineral samples to specialized laboratories to investigate whether bacteria or other microbes may have been involved in the precipitation of native sulfur and vaterite. Cell counts and DNA analyses confirm that cold-loving bacteria are present in the spring system. It appears that complex communities of bacteria live within the ice system, and that microbially mediated sulfate reduction is probably widespread.

NASA took interest in this evidence of life in extreme conditions.

Following publication of a first article describing the new discovery, astrophysicists and planetary scientists associated with NASA expressed the views that this unique example of life in an extreme ecosystem (bacteria living within or beneath a glacier and performing mineral transformation on Ellesmere Island is an extreme ecosystem) may actually be a perfect analogue to what life may look like on another planetary body of our Solar System – Europa – a moon of Jupiter.

One Response to “Bacteria Living in Glacier”

  1. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Life Untouched by the Sun
    October 21st, 2006 @ 11:28 am

    I am still not sure the “first” claim is really accurate (from NASA site in 2001), but nevertheless this is another interesting case of extremophiles…

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