Lagrange 5

waypoint to the past, present, and future of space

Friday, February 25, 2005

Frozen bacterium may be analogous to Mars

Reuters is reporting that a bacterium from 30,000 years ago, found in permafrost in Alaska, was thawed by NASA scientists and found alive, despite its extreme age.

The discovery could help in the search for life on Mars, according to Richard Hoover, a scientist from NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.

Scientists believe the permafrost on Mars is a similar environment to where the Alaska bacterium was found.

The finding is significant because water, not ice, had been widely believed to be the most likely catalyst for life on Mars. If signs of life can be found frozen for thousands of years in permafrost on earth, the same could also be possible on Mars.


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