Navigation Links
Hearty organisms discovered in bitter-cold Antarctic brine
Date:11/26/2012

EAST LANSING, Mich. Where there's water there's life even in brine beneath 60 feet of Antarctic ice, in permanent darkness and subzero temperatures.

While Lake Vida, located in the northernmost of the McMurdo Dry Valleys of East Antarctica, will never be a vacation destination, it is home to some newly discovered hearty microbes. In the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nathaniel Ostrom, Michigan State University zoologist, has co-authored "Microbial Life at -13C in the Brine of an Ice-Sealed Antarctic Lake."

Ostrom was part of a team that discovered an ancient thriving colony, which is estimated to have been isolated for more than 2,800 years. They live in a brine of more than 20 percent salinity that has high concentrations of ammonia, nitrogen, sulfur and supersaturated nitrous oxide the highest ever measured in a natural aquatic environment.

"It's an extreme environment the thickest lake ice on the planet, and the coldest, most stable cryo-environment on Earth," Ostrom said. "The discovery of this ecosystem gives us insight into other isolated, frozen environments on Earth, but it also gives us a potential model for life on other icy planets that harbor saline deposits and subsurface oceans, such as Jupiter's moon Europa."

On the Earth's surface, water fuels life. Plants use photosynthesis to derive energy. In contrast, at thermal vents at the ocean bottom, out of reach of the sun's rays, chemical energy released by hydrothermal processes supports life.

Life in Lake Vida lacks sunlight and oxygen. Its high concentrations of hydrogen gas, nitrate, nitrite and nitrous oxide likely provide the chemical energy used to support this novel and isolated microbial ecosystem. The high concentrations of hydrogen and nitrous oxide gases are likely derived from chemical reactions with the surrounding iron-rich rocks.

Consequently, it is likely that the chemical reactions between the anoxic brine and rock provide a source of energy to fuel microbial metabolism. These processes provide new insights into how life may have developed on Earth and function on other planetary bodies, Ostrom said.

The research team comprised scientists from the Desert Research Institute (Reno, Nev.), the University of Illinois-Chicago, NASA, the University of Colorado, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Montana State University, the University of Georgia, the University of Tasmania and Indiana University.


'/>"/>

Contact: Layne Cameron
layne.cameron@cabs.msu.edu
517-353-8819
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Strange diet for methane consuming microorganisms
2. Plants recognise pathogenic and beneficial microorganisms
3. Small marine organisms big changes could affect world climate
4. Small organisms could dramatically impact worlds climate
5. Unusual symbiosis discovered in marine microorganisms
6. New research suggests bacteria are social microorganisms
7. Why do organisms build tissues they seemingly never use?
8. Progress of arachidonic acid biosynthesis in microorganisms
9. Genetically modified corn affects its symbiotic relationship with non-target soil organisms
10. University of Toronto biologists predict extinction for organisms with poor quality genes
11. Microbial missing link discovered after man impales hand on tree branch
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Hearty organisms discovered in bitter-cold Antarctic brine
(Date:2/14/2017)... , Feb. 14, 2017  Wake Forest Baptist Medical ... its new chief executive officer (CEO). Freischlag joins the ... John D. McConnell , M.D., who last year announced ... the Medical Center, after leading it since 2008.   ... scope of Wake Forest Baptist,s academic health system, which ...
(Date:2/10/2017)... Research and Markets has announced ... - Scientific and Commercial Aspects" to their offering. ... Biomarkers ... with therapy for selection of treatment as well for monitoring ... of disease in modern medicine. Biochip/microarray technologies and next generation ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... -- Aware, Inc. (NASDAQ: AWRE ), a leading supplier ... its quarter and year ended December 31, 2016. ... million compared to $6.9 million in the same quarter last ... $0.6 million compared to $2.6 million in the fourth quarter ... was $0.5 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, which compares ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/22/2017)... SAN DIEGO , Feb. 22, 2017  PrimeVax ... , will be presenting at the Annual Biocom Global ... on March 2, at 11:15 AM, at the Torrey ... are thankful to the organizers at Biocom who have ... this international symposium of biotechnology companies, investors, and clinical ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... LabRoots , the leading provider ... the world, is pleased to announce the launch of a new scholarship for young ... fields. , This merit-based scholarship is open to all high school seniors, 17 years ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... ... addition of Tom Perkins as European director. Operating from Pennside’s Zurich headquarters, Pennside ... , Perkins joins Pennside after more than a decade with leading market ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... ... 21, 2017 , ... During HIMSS 2017, CloudMine, a secure, ... a partnership with Redox, a leader in cloud-based healthcare integration and API services. ... keeping data secure in the cloud. , The digital health developers, and various ...
Breaking Biology Technology: