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The scientists found hydrogen sulphide and sulphur dioxide - two gases which react with each other, and are not seen in the same place unless something is producing them.
The researchers told the New Scientist that "bugs living in the Venusian clouds could be combining sulphur dioxide with carbon monoxide and possibly hydrogen sulphide or carbonyl sulphide in a metabolism similar to that of some early Earth bugs".
They also believe the temperatures of Venus was once much cooler and there could have been oceans on the planet.
"Life could have started there and retreated to stable niches once the runaway greenhouse effect began," Mr Schulze-Makuch says.
"Of the morning star, the great star, it was said that when it first emerged and came forth, four times it vanished and disappeared quickly. And afterwards it burst forth completely, took its place in full light, became brilliant, and shone white. Like the moon's rays, so did it shine. An when it newly emerged, much fear came over them; all were frightened. Everywhere the outlets and openings [of houses] were closed up. It was said that perchance [the light] might bring a cause of sickness, something evil, when it came to emerge.
But sometimes it was regarded as benevolent."
(Ancient Mesoamerican recollections of Venus)
Sahagun, Bernardino de., The Florentine Codex,
General History of the Things of New Spain - Book 7,
Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah, 1952, p. 1
Expecting to find high levels of carbon monoxide created by sunlight and lightning, the researchers instead found hydrogen sulphide and sulphur dioxide, gases normally not found together unless something is producing them. They also found carbonyl sulphide, a gas so difficult to produce by inorganic chemistry that it is generally considered to be a marker for living organisms.
Schulze-Makuch said there may be unknown ways to produce hydrogen or carbonyl sulphide, but both need catalysts. On Earth, the most efficient catalysts are microbes.
He suggested the bugs could be using ultraviolet light from the sun as an energy source, which would explain the presence of strange dark patches on ultraviolet images of the planet.
Yet, in 2002, at the European astrobiology conference in Graz, Austria, Dirk Schulze-Makuch and Louis Irwin, from the University of Texas at El Paso, suggested that high clouds in the Venusian atmosphere contain chemicals that hint at the presence of some kind of biological activity.3 Based on data from the Russian Venera space missions and also the Pioneer Venus and Magellan probes, Schulze-Makuch and Irwin pointed to oddities in the chemical composition of water droplets in the Venusian clouds which, they argue, could be explained by the presence of microbes. The researchers found hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide – two gases that react with each other, and are not seen in the same place unless something is producing them. They also said that, despite solar radiation and lightning, the atmosphere contains hardly any carbon monoxide, suggesting that something is removing the gas. One possibility is that microbes living in the Venusian clouds could be combining sulfur dioxide with carbon monoxide and possibly hydrogen sulphide or carbonyl sulphide in a metabolism similar to that of some early terrestrial microorganisms. Given that the temperature on Venus was once much cooler, there may once have been oceans on the planet. Life could have started there and retreated to stable niches once the runaway greenhouse effect began. This idea seems all the more reasonable following the discovery by Austrian scientists, also in 2002, bacteria living and reproducing within clouds on Earth. The Venusian clouds are high in the atmosphere, where the temperature and pressure are quite Earth-like.
Another problem could be UV radiation from the Sun. But Schulze-Makuch suggests that Venusian bacteria could make use of a natural chemical sunscreen there based on sulfur compounds. It's possible that organisms have evolved ways of making use of the UV, much like Earth plants use visible light for photosynthesis.
Did cells first form in an environment where monomers were abundant and then gradually evolve a photosynthetic capacity, or was photoreduction of CO2 and N2 a prerequisite for the first self-replicating entity? It seems likely that the Western Australian stromatolites were formed by photosynthetic organisms, but to what use was the light energy put? These questions require careful study, including detailed comparative analysis of contemporary metabolic pathways.
Sulfide may have been abundant on the early Earth, yet it has received little experimental attention with regard to its possible involvement in prebiotic syntheses. Hydrothermal vents and hot springs are rich in sulfide and have been suggested as sites of prebiotic synthesis. Thiol esters are more reactive than oxygen esters in many reactions and are important in contemporary biochemistry.
gaseous mixtures, for example, methane, nitrogen, ammonia, and water, if supplied with energy such as spark discharges, produce the amino acids including those found regularly in proteins. The distribution of monomers so produced is qualitatively and quantitatively similar to that found in carbonaceous meteorites. In addition, most protein amino acids may be produced nonenzymatically starting with simple organic compounds such as formaldehyde and hydroxylamine.
You have voted blue bird for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have used all of your votes for this month.
Originally posted by iori_komei
A great thread with a lot of good information, I can not remember the
last time I've seen a thread with this much detail before.
Imagine what it would mean if we found life on Venus, Mars and Europa,
life would be a truly universal thing.
Originally posted by TheIntelligentInvestor
All this shows is that there's a correlation to venusian cycles and diseases - which can EASILY be coincidence.
And you're wrong...Venus is not very volcanically active (Earth is more so).
This false-color view of the volcano Sif Mons was generated from Magellan SAR data and existing altimetry data. The image shows a region of the volcano just below the summit of the peak. A series of bright and dark lava flows is visible in the foreground. The brightest flows, which are relatively rough, are associated with the most recent volcanism in the region. The flows overlay older lava flows which are smoother and hence appear darker to the Magellan radar system. The volcano is 2 km (1.2 mi) high and 200 km (120 mi) in diameter. Vertical exaggeration in this image is about 20 times.
The rising material pushes the surface of the planet upward, producing elevated topography. This uplift also stretches the crust, forming the observed rifts. The hot material may melt as it approaches the surface, producing the observed volcanos.
When NASA scientists examined the camera they found that the polyurethane foam insulation covering its circuit boards contained 50 to 100 viable specimens of Streptococcus mitis, a harmless bacterium commonly found in the human nose, mouth, and throat. Since the camera had been returned under strict sterile conditions, it is evident that the microbes must have been on the probe since it departed the Earth and had survived 31 months in the absence of air or water while being subjected to huge monthly temperature variations and bombardment by hard ultraviolet radiation from the Sun. Conrad later commented: "I always thought the most significant thing that we ever found on the whole ... Moon was that little bacteria who came back and living and nobody ever said [expletive] about it."
here were much older spores waiting to be revived. On May 19, 1995, The New York Times carried a front-page story about them (4). Biologists Raul Cano and Monica Borucki had extracted bacterial spores from bees preserved in amber in Costa Rica. Amber is tree-sap that hardens and persists as a fossil. This amber had entrapped some bees and then hardened between 25 and 40 million years ago. Bacteria living in the bees' digestive tracts had recognized a problem and turned themselves into spores. When placed in a suitable culture, the spores came right back to life. As a control, the two biologists also attempted to culture from the same amber a number of samples that contained no bee parts. These cultures were negative, adding credibility to the experiment. This finding was originally reported in the journal Science (5) to general acceptance.
There are bacteria that metabolize iron, nitrogen, sulphur, and other inorganic materials. There are bacteria today that can live without sunlight. Archaebacteria that can withstand extreme heat have been found thriving in oil reservoirs a mile underground (9). Some species of cyanobacteria are highly resistant to ultraviolet radiation. The only thing absolutely essential for bacteria to live, grow, and multiply is liquid water. We are confident that the early Earth had plenty of water. Scientists believe that concentration of water in the earliest atmosphere for which they have data, over four billion years ago, was far higher than it is today.
Bacteria have the ability to colonize an unfriendly planet like the Hadean Earth. Not just had the ability but have the ability. These are not make believe stories. All of the bacteria we have considered, with all of their unusual abilities to survive extreme environments, are alive today!
Originally posted by blue bird
Regarding Venus : there is no magnetic field on Venus, so she has a 'tail' ( like comet !?) so solar flame can easily push such spores to Earth - and condition in upper atmosphere are more favorable than some of conditions in case with Earth extermophiles.
Originally posted by DarkSide
I never heard of that before, very interesting topic. How come it's atmosphere isn't depleted?
Even though Venus has no appreciable magnetic field, the solar wind is prevented from reaching the surface by Venus's dense atmosphere and by electrical currents induced in its conducting ionosphere. The planet has a well-developed bow shock, but it does not have belts of trapped particles. Both the ionosphere and the extended corona of hot gas, derived from the upper atmosphere, help to divert the solar wind.
The Tail of Venus
In mid-1997, the Soho satellite detected a plasma structure issuing from Venus and almost reaching the surface of Earth. The report described the structure as "stringy." Such a structure could only remain intact if a current were continuously flowing from Venus to the surrounding space via the plasma tail. The discovery supports the idea that Venus assumed its present position in the solar system only recently, and has not yet achieved charge-equilibrium with its environment.
Interestingly, ancient names of Venus include the Long Haired Star and Bearded Star. Symbols and glyphs that carried the meaning "planet Venus" also carried the meaning "comet."
We suggest that in ancient times, this same "plasma tail" of Venus emitted a visible glow by the same mechanism that comets do today, plasma discharge.
The ancient Chinese Soochow Astronomical Chart says "Venus was visible in full
daylight and, while moving across the sky, rivaled the sun in brightness".
The Hebrews wrote "The brilliant light of Venus blazes from one end of the
cosmos to the other end." The Chaldeans described Venus as a "bright torch of
heaven", a "diamond that illuminates like the sun", "A stupendous prodigy in
the sky" that "fills the entire heaven.", and compared its light to that of
the rising sun. At present the light of Venus is