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If alien life is out there, it may be able to exploit more-extreme environments than scientists think, because huge gravitational forces don't seem to pose much of a problem for microbes. Several different species of bacteria can survive and reproduce in "hypergravity" more than 400,000 times stronger than that of the Earth, a new study reports. The find suggests that alien life could take root in a wide range of conditions -- and that it could survive the high G-forces imposed by meteorite impacts and ejections, making the exchange of life between planets a distinct possibility. "The number and types of environments that we now think life can inhabit in the universe has expanded because of our study," said lead author Shigeru Deguchi, of the Japan Agency of Marine-Earth Science and Technology in Yokosuka. [5 Bold Claims of Alien Life ]