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These Color Swatches Could Help Us Find Alien Life

For the first time ever, scientists have created a detailed catalogue of color swatches that correspond to nearly 140 known microorganisms, including those that can live in the most extreme environments. Armed with this knowledge, astrobiologists can now scan the atmospheres of distant exoplanets in hopes of finding a… » 3/17/15 9:25am 3/17/15 9:25am

Life has been discovered beneath the Antarctic ice

There is life in Lake Whillans. For millions of years, this small body of liquid water has lurked hundreds of meters below Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf, sealed off from the outside world and the scientists who would explore its subglacial depths. Now, in a monumental first, a team of researchers led by Montana State… » 2/12/13 2:00pm 2/12/13 2:00pm

Bacteria and fungi living 30,000 feet above the Earth could be…

Microorganisms have been found in virtually every corner of the Earth, from deep sea volcanoes to the tops of frozen mountains. They've also been discovered high up in the atmosphere — but scientists haven't been entirely sure as to nature and extent of these elusive high-altitude organisms. Now, new research suggests… » 1/29/13 8:31am 1/29/13 8:31am

Mars once had water warm enough to sustain life

We know that Mars once had lots of water, considered a prerequisite for habitability. What hasn't been known, however, is just how friendly — or unfriendly — this water might have been to life, as the temperature and chemical conditions of ancient Martian water has remained a complete mystery. But as a new analysis… » 11/19/12 8:00am 11/19/12 8:00am

NASA: Extreme forms of life can survive on planets with weird orbits

Biologists who study extremophiles know just how tough and resilient life can be. Microbes have been discovered in virtually all four corners of the Earth, including deserts, extreme altitudes, and undersea volcanoes. Insights like these have forced astrobiologists to reconsider the types of environments where life… » 9/12/12 8:55am 9/12/12 8:55am