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SCI/TECH: Microbes survive deep permafrost

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posted on Feb, 23 2005 @ 05:22 AM
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Microbes have been found living in temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees Celsius in the Alaskan permafrost, raising concerns about greenhouse gas production. It was once thought that bacteria inactive at such extreme temperatures, but these ones are still releasing gases and could be adding dangerously to the greenhouse gas production.
 



news.bbc.co.uk
The discovery raises concerns that the activity of these bacteria, once thought inactive at such extreme temperatures, could be making a considerable contribution to greenhouse gas production.

Scientists found that bacteria taken from the Alaskan tundra soil release gases during energy production whilst apparently in a frozen state.

This runs contrary to textbook biology, which dictates the need for freely available water to allow these single-celled life forms to function.



Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


This again increases hopes that we can find life on other worlds such as Mars, which once seemed very unlikely. It seems that however unlikely if life can find a way to strive under any circumstances, however small, it will...

[edit on 23-2-2005 by John Nada]




posted on Feb, 23 2005 @ 08:48 AM
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Cool find JohnNadada. Thanks.

Life does find a way, usually the microbes, and scientific dogma needs a hard boot in the butt. ..."Textbook biology" is holding up a lot of very important research, just because it questions mistaken assumptions...


[quote]

This runs contrary to textbook biology, which dictates the need for freely available water to allow these single-celled life forms to function.





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posted on Feb, 23 2005 @ 08:55 AM
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Originally posted by soficrow
Cool find JohnNadada. Thanks.

Life does find a way, usually the microbes, and scientific dogma needs a hard boot in the butt. ..."Textbook biology" is holding up a lot of very important research, just because it questions mistaken assumptions...


[quote]

This runs contrary to textbook biology, which dictates the need for freely available water to allow these single-celled life forms to function.





.

You can fill a billion volumes of textbooks with what they miss or get wrong.

"The arrogance of science is only outweighed by its ignorance."
Brilliant man said this.......me



posted on Feb, 23 2005 @ 09:06 AM
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Indeed to you both, without wanting to get off topic or lower the tone that reminds me of a funny film quote which went something like "I once took a crap that told me all I needed to know about science".



posted on Feb, 23 2005 @ 10:43 AM
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This does not go against textbook dogma as it were. We've known for a long time that bacteria can actively metabolize in sub-zero temperatures. There have been papers published about bacteria metabolizing in the minus-teens at the bottom of glaciers. And these bacteria are not frozen. If the inside of their cells turns to ice they cannot metabolize. What they actually speculate is that either the bacteria have anti-freeze proteins (nothing new, we've known about these in Antarctic fish for a long time) and/or that there is something unusual about the chemistry of permafrost soil such that water isn't always frozen (for instance, sea water freezes at a lower temperature than water without salt--solutes in the groundwater will alter the freezing point). Nevermind that the permafrost is melting, and nevermind that I'm pretty sure someone already demonstrated there are microrefugia in permafrost soil where you get tiny drops of liquid water. So nothing new here at all. Just a science writer desparate for a story.




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