Nearing the limits of life on Earth
Failure to find active microbes in coldest Antarctic soils has implications for search for life on Mars
Natural Resource Sciences professor Lyle Whyte and postdoctoral fellow Jackie Goordial talk about their research which suggests that it is unlikely that it is unlikely that there is any microbial life to be found on Mars.
Goordial has spent the past four years looking for signs of active microbial life in permafrost soil taken from one of the coldest, oldest and driest places on Earth: in University Valley, located in the high elevation McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica, where extremely cold and dry conditions have persisted for over 150,000 years. The reason that scientists are looking for life in this area is that it is thought to be the place on Earth that most closely resembles the permafrost found in the northern polar region of Mars at the Phoenix landing site.
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