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Current anaerobic culture techniques commonly employ 5-10% CO2 in the incubation atmosphere to achieve optimal growth (Watt, 1973; Stalons, Thornsberry and Dowell, 1974; Willis, 1977).
Nov. 21, 2008: Researchers have found new evidence that the atmosphere of Mars is being stripped away by solar wind. It's not a gently continuous erosion, but rather a ripping process in which chunks of Martian air detach themselves from the planet and tumble into deep space. This surprising mechanism could help solve a longstanding mystery about the Red Planet.
A cup of water placed almost anywhere on the Martian surface would quickly and violently boil away—a result of the super-low air pressure.
A Nasa probe has found signs that the southern hemisphere is dusted with chloride mineral, perhaps "table salt".
US scientists think the mineral formed when water evaporated from salty lakes or soil billions of years ago.
The deposits, similar to salt-pans on Earth, are a good place to search for traces of past life preserved in salt,
they report in the journal Science.
The extensive hematite deposit in Meridiani Planum was selected as the landing site for the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity because the site may have been favorable to the preservation of evidence of possible prebiotic or biotic processes. One of the proposed mechanisms for formation of this deposit involves surface weathering and coatings, exemplified on Earth by rock varnish. Microbial life, including microcolonial fungi and bacteria, is documented in rock varnish matrices from the southwestern United States and Australia. Limited evidence of this life is preserved as cells and cell molds mineralized by iron oxides and hydroxides, as well as by manganese oxides. Such mineralization of microbial cells has previously been demonstrated experimentally and documented in banded iron formations, hot spring deposits, and ferricrete soils. These types of deposits are examples of the four “water–rock interaction” scenarios proposed for formation of the hematite deposit on Mars. The instrument suite on Opportunity has the capability to distinguish among these proposed formation scenarios and, possibly, to detect traces that are suggestive of preserved martian microbiota. However, the confirmation of microfossils or preserved biosignatures will likely require the return of samples to terrestrial laboratories.