posted on Aug, 28 2007 @ 03:47 PM
Interesting, but I just wish the article mentioned what Family or Genus of bacteria was found. In other words I would be intrigued to see if the
bacteria they observed was something other than a Psychrophile or Hypolith, which are well known microbes that can survive in extremely cold
conditions. These particular forms of bacteria or archaea metabolize using photosynthesis and chemoautotrophy which keeps their cell membranes and
DNA resistant to the freezing effects of cold environments. They are quite common in the Arctic and Antarctic, which is why I wouldn't find their
survival rates all that spectacular.
However, should these scientists have found a Thermophile like Chloroflexus Aurantiacus, Pyrodictium Abyssi, or something similar in the Frozen soils
it would be far more of a scientific breakthrough. These organisms only survive in warmer temperatures than their counterparts, which would mean a
couple of different things to the person that would discover them in permafrost or glaciers. For instance, we know that microorganisms such as
Psychrophiles are naturally able to survive for long periods in extremely cold environments. On the other hand, finding a Thermophile or something
like it frozen and able to be resuscitated when normally it should have died would be a far greater step in understanding how organisms can survive
I will be very curious to hear what type of bacteria they actually found in those samples. We already know that bacteria and other organisms can
survive as extremophiles in some conditions, but taking them out of their natural environment and placing them within a completely different set of
ecological barriers would show their true resilience. The potential for a normally warmer microbe surviving in a frozen environment would shed major
light on the issue of adaptability and evolution. This would be where it's impact on Astrobiology would be enormous, and why I would very much like
to know the Genus and Species of the bacteria they found in this instance.