What Life Might Look Like on Jupiter's Europa: New Extreme Species Discovered
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May 12, 2009

What Life Might Look Like on Jupiter's Europa: New Extreme Species Discovered

Jupiters Moon Europa Wonder what life of Jupiter's moon, Europa, might look like? Checkout a  new species of archaebacteria, Pyrococcus CH1,discovered thriving on a mid-Atlantic ridge within a temperature range of 80 to 105°C and able to divide itself up to a hydrostatic pressure of 120 Mpa (1000 times higher than the atmospheric pressure). Alieve won't help down there.

This discovery was made by an international team of microbiologists of the Microbiology of Extreme Environments Laboratory in partnership with the Institute of Oceanography of Xiamen (China) and the Earth Science Laboratory. This archaebacteria had been isolated from samples by a Franco-Russian team that explored the mid-Atlantic ridge for six weeks searching for new hydrothermal vents.

The piezophilic microorganisms constitute a subgroup of extremophiles. Discovered on the site “Ashadze”(2) at 4100 meters depth, the deepest vent field explored so far, the CH1 strain was successfully isolated and assigned to the genus Pyrococcus, within the Euryarchaeota lineage of the Archae domain. The discovery extends the known physical and chemical limits of life on Earth.

The reason scientists believed for so long that life did not exist in the deepest parts of the sea is because the oxygen that filters down is centuries old, having formed near the surface through photosynthesis by microscopic plants known as phytoplankton.

In the "hadal" zone, which at 11,000m is deeper than Mount Everest is high – the pressure rises to 1,000 bar, or a ton per square centimeter. And as there is practically no light, plants cannot grow, so there is little food.

Pyrococcus CH1 is only one on many examples of extremophilic microorganisms on our planet, all of which point vividly to what we might eventually discover as NASA's future probes explore the moons of Saturn and Jupiter.

Extremophiles are the ultimate adventurers. These organisms thrive where other microbes don’t dare venture: boiling water holes, freezing lakes, and toxic waste dumps. Researchers have sequenced the genomes of two extremophiles that live at the bottom of Ace Lake in Antarctica, where there is no oxygen and the average temperature is a brutal 33 degrees below Fahrenheit.
 
Deep Sea Vents Extraterrestrial life is the most interesting thing ever, bar nothing.  We have two possible life-locations right here on our solar system doorstep - but we have to choose which to check.  We want to go everywhere, but with a price-tag of billions of dollars per outer-planet probe we have to decide and flipping a coin just won't cut it.

Option Number One is Jupiter's Europa, the favored satellite son of many exobiologists and even Arthur C. Clarke himself.  While distinctly non-Terran, huge sub-surface lakes probably heated by tidal stresses, and even an extremely tenuous oxygen atmosphere make it a leading contender.  Hot water and even some air?  Is there a more likely life-site without tiny bacteria-sized jacuzzis?

Number Two is Saturn's Titan, a very-Terran option whose surface lakes, shorelines, seasons and relatively thick nitrogen atmosphere mean it's viewed as an early-model Earth.  And 100% of all know Earths have awesome life on them!  The significantly lower temperature is a bit of a stumbling block (it's ten times as far from the sun as us), but the possibility of subterranean microbial life - or even a prebiotic "Life could happen!" environment - would be a massive result.

Posted by Casey Kazan with Luke McKinney


Source: http://wwz.ifremer.fr/institut/content/download/47146/355509/file/Press_release_Pyrococcus_CH1.pdf

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Comments

"Extraterrestrial life is the most interesting thing ever, bar nothing, and if you disagree you're either a terribly limited person or misread the start of the sentence."

As we haven't discovered Extraterrestrial life this statement does not make logical sense. How can you say something is the most interesting thing EVER when it isn't even discovered yet?

It is a shame that an article detailing a scientific discover has to resort to subjective, egotistical claims. (backed by insults if I don't agree with you)

I think I'll go elsewhere for my scientific information thank you.

Furthermore, pi is exactly 3!

James: This article was sourced from: http://wwz.ifremer.fr/institut/content/download/47146/355509/file/Press_release_Pyrococcus_CH1.pdf
as were the posts at several other media. Ours is just a bit more provocative and interesting, I suspect. Our best, Casey,

Regardless of whether you copied this article or not, what exactly is new about Pyrococcus CH1? "Pyrococcus CH1 is only one on many examples..." is more like it. There's nothing news-worthy here. Don't get me wrong, Dave Gallos is a rock star, but this isn't a hit.

Did we ever get the one we had a phone?

Gents....Science Daily, The Daily Galaxy, Wired and other media all used the same source material at: http://wwz.ifremer.fr/institut/content/download/47146/355509/file/Press_release_Pyrococcus_CH1.pdf

Our best, Casey

I agree with Ray. It kind of sucks that I am ending up criticising one person in particular, but Luke McKinney seems to do this a lot, especially on this subject. I seem to remember a post that mentions the idea of the great filter, where McKinney says if you believe in it you have no soul. Nice reporting.

Any article about conjecture about Titan & Europa I find very interesting. If we find life on our next door neighbour, Mars, it might be in fossil form. Maybe with Europa & Titan it would still be living, breathing & evolving.

I'm betting on life forms evolved from extremeophile bacteria & viruses or their extra - terrestrial analogues.

Now I gotta find an odds - maker & a bookie !

But HAL told us to get away from Europa!

The problem with exploring Europa & Titan remotely is that we can't just drop rovers on the surface.
A probe on Europa's surface has to be hardened against radiation & be able to drill through heaven - knows - how many miles of ice to find a subsurface reservoir, & for Titan, a probe might need to float on a liquid methane sea to search for life up close.

All our Martian rovers had to do was avoid getting covered by dust storms.

it looks really wierd.

These organisms thrive where other microbes don’t dare venture: boiling water holes, freezing lakes, and toxic waste dumps. Researchers have sequenced the genomes of two extremophiles that live at the bottom of Ace Lake in Antarctica, where there is no oxygen and the average temperature is a brutal 33 degrees below Fahrenheit.

could nasa some how get to the moon and get images and samples from under and see if ther could be life.

could nasa some how get to the moon and get images and samples from under and see if ther could be life.

VERY NICE!!! :)


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