18 April 2009

Blood falls

Scientists have found life in an ecosystem trapped underneath a glacier in Antarctica for nearly 2 million years. The microbes, they suggest, are surviving the dark, oxygen-free waters by drawing energy from sulfur and iron. The findings provide insight into how life may have survived "Snowball Earth"--periods when some scientists speculate that the planet was entombed in ice--and hint at the possibility of life in other inhospitable environments, such as Mars and Jupiter's icy moon Europa.
-- from Ancient Ecosystem Discovered Beneath Antarctic Glacier.

In Life Ascending, Nick Lane quotes Albert Szent-Györgyi: "Life is nothing but an electron looking for a place to rest".

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