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Should NASA search for extremophiles ?

If any life exists on Mars today, scientists believe it is most likely to be in pockets of liquid water beneath the Martian surface. These underground water chambers could harbor microscopic organisms called extremophiles, organisms that have evolved unique strategies for existing in extreme environments. NASA should take some microscopes to search for extremophiles.


Submitted by 2 years ago

Comments (16)

  1. Yes, NASA and other scientific agencies are currently looking for extremophiles around the world (Earth). If I'm not mistaken, MSL (Curiosity) and Exo-Mars will have organic live detecting subsystems. Both carry drills which will give us a first insight as too presence of extremophiles on Mars in the very first layer of "soil."

    2 years ago
  2. I think nasa should make it a priority to test equipment to make breathable air for astronauts and rocket fuel using martian resources. if we can demonstrate those capabilities on mars rather than a lab on earth i think more indepth scientific discoveries will come quicker.

    2 years ago
  3. Without a doubt NASA has to do extensive testing for extremophiles. Mar's shows signs or organic chemistry and we have to answer whether it is really organic in origin or if Mar's hold's the secret to producing certain chemical compunds on a msaaive scale in a none organic way, which so far we have absolutely no clue about. What ever the answer, whether the source is organic or not, it will be a world changing discovery.

    2 years ago
  4. Let's wait and see How MSL (Curiosity) helps to a future manned mission....!

    2 years ago
  5. Temp. On mars near equator is quite extreme heNce it is quite difficult for life to exist there but there are many chances that life may exist near poles and tropics!!!

    2 years ago
    1. Extremophiles may exist even in extreme environments, that's why they're called that. Hyperthermophiles thrive in hot places like the equator, and psychrophiles thrive in very cold environments. It is unwise to rule out an environment simply based on its suitability for humans.

      2 years ago
  6. brainlogic2 Idea Submitter

    Types of Extremophiles:


    An organism with optimal growth at pH levels of 3 or below


    An organism with optimal growth at pH levels of 9 or above


    An organism that does not require oxygen for growth such as Spinoloricus Cinzia. Two sub-types exists: facultative anaerobe and obligate anaerobe. Facultative anaerobe can tolerate anaerobic and aerobic condition, however an obligate anaerobe would die in presence of even trace levels of oxygen.


    An organism that lives in microscopic spaces within rocks, such as pores between aggregate grains; these may also be called Endolith, a term that also includes organisms populating fissures, aquifers, and faults filled with groundwater in the deep subsurface.


    An organism requiring at least 0.2M concentrations of salt (NaCl) for growth[6]


    An organism that can thrive at temperatures between 80–122 °C, such as those found in hydrothermal systems


    An organism that lives underneath rocks in cold deserts


    An organism (usually bacteria) whose sole source of carbon is carbon dioxide and exergonic inorganic oxidation (chemolithotrophs) such as Nitrosomonas europaea; these organisms are capable of deriving energy from reduced mineral compounds like pyrites, and are active in geochemical cycling and the weathering of parent bedrock to form soil


    capable of tolerating high levels of dissolved heavy metals in solution, such as copper, cadmium, arsenic, and zinc; examples include Ferroplasma sp. and Cupriavidus metallidurans


    An organism capable of growth in nutritionally limited environments


    An organism capable of growth in environments with a high sugar concentration


    An organism that lives optimally at high hydrostatic pressure; common in the deep terrestrial subsurface, as well as in oceanic trenches


    An organism that qualifies as an extremophile under more than one category


    An organism capable of survival, growth or reproduction at temperatures of -15 °C or lower for extended periods; common in cold soils, permafrost, polar ice, cold ocean water, and in or under alpine snowpack


    Organisms resistant to high levels of ionizing radiation, most commonly ultraviolet radiation, but also including organisms capable of resisting nuclear radiation


    An organism that can thrive at temperatures between 60–80 °C


    Combination of thermophile and acidophile that prefer temperatures of 70–80 °C and pH between 2 and 3


    An organism that can grow in extremely dry, desiccating conditions; this type is exemplified by the soil microbes of the Atacama Desert

    2 years ago
    1. Thank you my friend,,, now we know that bacteriological life in Mars is quite possible!! Lets see what Curiosity will show us!

      2 years ago
  7. Thanks for getting that into my notice!!

    2 years ago
  8. extremeophile,

    Human- Homo sapiens- cabable of traveling to from and between planets range of temperatures minus 270 to plus 1500 degrees C, when we get to mars we will discover that the odd truth we are humans...walking on mars...the third planetary body that we have been known to leave bootprints. Okay maybe that was a multiple sarcasm. I think that like on earth we will find one of the most likely or even the most diversely populated areas on Mars will be "the littoral" zone known on Earth as the small distance (but globaly vast) between low tide and high tide. On Mars I would call the Littoral zone the area near the poles where polar ice extends and recedes every year specificaly water ice, it may be possible that in the area where the temperatures alow for even temporary liquid water that we will find life or even divese life, (microbes, fungas, corals, mosses, extremeophiles.

    2 years ago
    1. brainlogic2 Idea Submitter

      I totally,definitely disagree with you.

      2 years ago
  9. exremophiles will play an imp. role in research

    2 years ago
  10. oy will be great if we discover them

    2 years ago
    1. brainlogic2 Idea Submitter

      You are right, they are interesting.

      2 years ago
  11. correction-oy-it

    2 years ago
    1. brainlogic2 Idea Submitter


      2 years ago

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