A New Form of Life

Tony Phillips, Science @ NASA

This news article introduces the discovery of a new extreme-loving microorganism, Spirochaeta americana, in California's exotic Mono Lake. It compares the geology of Mono Lake to the Gusev Crater on Mars and discusses the implications for finding organisms in extreme environments on Earth when speculating about life on other planets. It also offers a description of tufa formation and explains why the discovery of tufa on Mars would be indicative of microbial life. The resource includes a downloadable audio file of the author reading the article and links to more information.

Subject: Biology:Ecology:Principles, Biology:Astrobiology, Ecology:Symbiotic Relations:Mutualism, Biology:Microbiology
Resource Type: Scientific Resources:Overview/Reference Work, Audio/Visual:Audio
Grade Level: High School (9-12), Middle (6-8)
Extreme Environments: Alkaline, Hypersaline
Topics: Biosphere:Ecology:Abiotic Relations, Biosphere:Astrobiology, Ecology:Principles, Biosphere:Microbiology