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Scientists have discovered methane-eating bacteria, could these bacteria live on Mars??

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posted on Jun, 9 2010 @ 07:24 AM
Ok I have done a search on this topic and can't find any thread directly dealing with this subject.

Scientists from the National Research Council of Canada, the University of Toronto and the SETI Institute (SETI, that piqued my interest) have discovered a unique spring located on Axel Heiberg Island in Canada, they expected to find methanogenic bacteria that produce methane, but instead they found something altogether different, they discovered methane-EATING bacteria, that they claim is probably breathing sulphate instead of oxygen. The reason this thread is in 'Space Exploration' is they also claim:

"Lost Hammer spring supports microbial life, that the spring is similar to possible past or present springs on Mars and that therefore they too could support life"

Mars has areas of methane that has been detected Source but as far as I'm aware the source hasn't been figured out yet, as to whether it's produced by geological activity or by life is unknown, so could this new discovery be another step forward to discovering life elsewhere in our Solar system? Well they state something very interesting regarding this:

"There are places on Mars where the temperature reaches relatively warm -10 to 0 degrees and perhaps even above 0ÂșC, and on Axel Heiberg it gets down to -50, easy. The Lost Hammer spring is the most extreme subzero and salty environment we've found. This site also provides a model of how a methane seep could form in a frozen world like Mars, providing a potential mechanism for the recently discovered Martian methane plumes."


posted on Jun, 9 2010 @ 07:35 AM
Wow ! Interesting find. S&F.

Perhaps we could gather a few million petri dishes full of the critters and send them to the Gulf of Mexico.

I am being serious.

posted on Jun, 9 2010 @ 07:51 AM
reply to post by kinda kurious

Hi Kinda Kurious, heh, that's not a bad idea,
the bacteria live in very salty subzero water so I'm not sure if they would survive sea water at normal temperature, as to whether this environment is all they can live in I'm uncertain, be a good experiment though fo'sure...

[edit on 9-6-2010 by Majestic RNA]

posted on Jun, 9 2010 @ 02:58 PM
Cool find...I don't know about Mars, but seems Titan would be a more likely place to find methane-dependent organisms...well, maybe not ones that eat discussion about life form evidence on Titan earlier this week -

Check out this thread for more info:

[edit on 9-6-2010 by Cole DeSteele]

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