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Storm clouds are crawling with bacteria

Posted on Thursday, 24 January, 2013 | Comment icon 21 comments | News tip by: Hasina

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Scientists have discovered that the clouds above our heads are filled with microbial life.

To conduct their study, researchers collected hailstones that had fallen from storm clouds over Slovenia. What they discovered was that the hail was filled with almost as many organic compounds as you might find in a typical river along with several species of bacteria that normally only live on plants.

The rain that falls on our heads is often considered to be very clean, but it seems that despite being distilled it still contains a lot of the bacteria we find in other water sources. "They may be growing in clouds, increasing in number and then modifying the chemistry in the cloud but also in the atmosphere indirectly," said study co-author Tina Santl Temkiv.

"Some of bacteria found are ice-nucleators, meaning they can act as seeds for ice crystals to attach to in the clouds above Earth."

  View: Full article |  Source: Live Science

  Discuss: View comments (21)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #12 Posted by Ratbiter on 24 January, 2013, 20:59
Someone's been reading readers Digest, this story was in their mag a few months ago, but it's interesting none the less even though it's only half the story.
Comment icon #13 Posted by pallidin on 24 January, 2013, 22:23
Uh, what's the other half? Hopefully "good news"
Comment icon #14 Posted by AsteroidX on 24 January, 2013, 22:25
Has anyone considered bacteria is not the worst thing in our rain clouds aka acid rain.
Comment icon #15 Posted by calaf on 24 January, 2013, 23:26
Do I detect a note of sarcasm?
Comment icon #16 Posted by Pupp3t on 24 January, 2013, 23:43
Maybe these microbacterial life grows up to be the sky serpents rarely seen in the sky! :D
Comment icon #17 Posted by pallidin on 25 January, 2013, 17:25
You just gave ammunition to sky serpent theorists. Shame on you.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Pupp3t on 28 January, 2013, 3:31
Score one for the Boys Back Home. Let's go home.
Comment icon #19 Posted by joc on 28 January, 2013, 4:47
I guess that would be you! Who reads Readers Digest anymore? I would...except they ruined the whole thing when they changed their format several years ago.
Comment icon #20 Posted by pallidin on 28 January, 2013, 16:09
Yeah, my wife gets RD and occassionaly I do glance through it. I usually dont read the articles, so I would be curious as to the "other half" of the story.

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