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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:01 am 
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They are alive, or better say they came back to life...The organisms have been trapped under hundreds of feet of ice!
(Another link inside the page)

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Recent investigations in the Antarctic have revealed a microbe colony that has been living underneath hundreds of feet of ice for 1.5 million years, after having been completely separated from the outside world. The microorganisms have no access to oxygen or sunlight, so they just had to make do with what they could find under the ice, which admittedly wasn't much. Then again, microbes and bacteria are known for their resilience to the harshest of conditions. The find could have implications for space exploration, as these organisms prove that they can live for millions of years without any apparent source of food or energy. The same situation could apply to Mars, Titan, or Enceladus.

LiveScience reports that the find was made in the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, a vast stretch of ice in the McMurdo Dry Valleys. A certain part of the sheet, the Taylor Glacier, exhibited a very peculiar trait, in that meltwater flowing out of it had a very strong red color. This occurrence rightfully earned the formation the name “Blood Falls.” Scientific studies on the location revealed the fact that the meltwater was laden with microbes that used sulfur compounds to extract iron from the bedrock below, hence the rusty color of the “Falls.”

“When I started running the chemical analysis on [the samples], there was no oxygen. That was when this got really interesting, it was a real 'eureka' moment,” Dartmouth College in New Hampshire researcher Jill Mikucki, who, at the time of the National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded study, was a Montana State University graduate student and a Harvard University postdoctoral researcher, explained. Preliminary investigations revealed that the briny pool in which the microbes lived, underneath the ice, was closed some 1.5 to 2 million years ago.

Digging the colony up is not an option, the researchers say, on account of the fact that the ice is simply too thick, and that the 3-mile (5-kilometer) -wide pool is too far at the back of the glacier. They estimate that the average temperature in the pool is of about 14 degrees Fahrenheit (minus ten degrees Celsius), but say that the stretch of water does not freeze over because it has a three-to-four-time larger salt concentration than the ice around it.

“It's a bit like finding a forest that nobody has seen for 1.5 million years. Intriguingly, the species living there are similar to contemporary organisms, and yet quite different – a result, no doubt, of having lived in such an inhospitable environment for so long,” Harvard University expert Ann Pearson, who has also been a member of the study team, added. The organisms that were retrieved are similar in configuration to existing ones, which proves that they have a common ancestor.

The pool “is a unique sort of time capsule from a period in Earth's history. I don't know of another environment quite like this on Earth,” Mikucki explained. Further investigations could offer space explorers a hint of what to look for when exploring ice-covered plants and moons, such as Jupiter's Europa.


http://news.softpedia.com/news/Antarctic-Reveals-1-5-Million-Year-Old-Microbe-Colony-109642.shtml

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:26 pm 
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Interesting article dad. Those bacteria adapted to their environment and survived.

What did these bacteria produce, or how did they survive differently, before they were blocked off by the ice do you think.

Tim

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 9:21 pm 
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That's exactly the question, Tim. What they were in that age,is impossible to say it, so I would be careful 'cause they could be from a virus too or something dangerous to these actual form of lives...


there are kind of polymorphic viruses in informatic as there are in medecine and a polymorphic is something able to change life in relation to the external ambient found, and it looks as to the one found..! Bad is that all or most of the iced water is now going into the sea...

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 8:11 am 
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The safety feature is that oxygen will kill the bacteria and or virus.

It is a big assumption to suggest they adapted to the ice rather than to consider that they survived solely on the basis of an oxygen free environment. In actual fact we have no idea under what circumstances they came to be trapped under the ice.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 2:29 pm 
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And what about if only 1 of them can survive and replicates? Is this 1 that always keeps me to be very careful... Do you remember that "little stone that became mountain"?

Also Ebola is only a very little "creature", but look how many deads has done till today, and it's ready to do it again...

We will see it in next future...

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