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Arctic microbe research could aid ET hunt


Posted on Saturday, 2 June, 2012 | Comment icon 6 comments


Image credit: NOAA

 
Work being carried out on the Arctic ice sheets could aid in the hunt for life on other worlds.

Scientists have been studying the edges of the ice sheets to investigate the release of methane, a gas that can either be produced by living organisms or through geological processes. In the hunt for life on alien worlds the ability to determine whether methane emissions are being produced by living organisms is essential.

Environments not dissimilar to the Arctic conditions here on Earth are believed to exist on other worlds in our solar system such as Jupiter's icy moon Europa, future missions to these worlds will rely on research such as that being conducted on the ice sheets to help locate potential new forms of life.

"Microbes living at the edges of Arctic ice sheets could help researchers pinpoint evidence for similar microorganisms that may have evolved on Mars, Jupiter's moon Europa or Saturn's moon Enceladus, researchers say."

  View: Full article |  Source: Yahoo! News

  Discuss: View comments (6)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Hazzard on 2 June, 2012, 11:29
Time will tell. Good article.
Comment icon #2 Posted by pallidin on 2 June, 2012, 15:55
I realize "basic research" can be expensive(2.6 million in this case) but I do see value, in some cases, for future explorations.
Comment icon #3 Posted by CRIPTIC CHAMELEON on 2 June, 2012, 23:08
Where ever there is a way, life of some kind will prevail no matter where why or how & if you choose to not believe life exists outside of earth then yes we are the center of the universe yes the world is flat etc etc etc.
Comment icon #4 Posted by csspwns on 3 June, 2012, 2:19
it would be cool if life was found on other planets and had technology waaay better than ours. but if they are hostile...we would be all dead. just like independence day but we got saved by will smith :D
Comment icon #5 Posted by spud the mackem on 3 June, 2012, 22:34
Hi, Spending millions of $'s looking for microbes but what are we gonna do if and when we find them ? . like "Hi microbe,we are human we mean you no harm,unless you wanna make life difficult then we have no other course than to zap you".We humans like to zap anything that doesn't agree with us...
Comment icon #6 Posted by pallidin on 4 June, 2012, 4:45
Spud, the research is to develop techniques to identify microbes. This is important in establishing some sense of validity for "life elsewhere" Where it could go from there is, I suppose, anyone's guess.


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