Lost Hammer Spring, in Nunavut in Canada’s High Arctic, is one of the coldest and saltiest terrestrial springs discovered to date. The water which travels up through 600 metres of permafrost to the surface is extremely salty (~24% salinity), perennially at sub-zero temperatures (~−5 °C) and contains almost no oxygen (
To gain insight into the kind of life forms that could exist on Mars, a McGill University research team, led by Lyle Whyte of the Department of Natural Resource Sciences, has used state-of-the-art genomic tools and single cell microbiology methods to identify and characterize a novel, and more importantly, an active microbial community in this unique spring. Finding the microbes and then sequencing their DNA and mRNA was no easy task.
Read more about this research in McGill News.