Large colonies of micro-organisms living under rocks have been discovered in the most hostile and extreme regions of the Arctic and Antarctic – giving new insights on survival of life on other planets.
Reporting in this weeks Nature, scientists from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and Scripps Institution of Oceanography reveal their surprise findings that rock-dwelling micro-organisms can photosynthesise and store carbon just as much as the plants, lichens and mosses that live above ground.
BAS microbiologist Dr Charles Cockell says, "Although its usual to find micro-organisms thriving under quartz and translucent rocks in hot deserts because enough light gets through, we wouldnt have expected this type of colonization in the polar regions where most of the rocks are opaque. Also, the harsh UV- radiation and violent winds make for a hostile environment. We found that in fact the opaque rocks protect the micro-organisms and, the movement of rocks during the annual freeze-thaw allows cracks to form and light to penetrate beneath the surface.
Athena Dinar | EurekAlert!
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Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
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Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
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Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
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On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
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