Extremophile bacteria and the implications for extra-terrestrial life

Kicking off this blog with a rather long post based upon microbial extremophiles. In light of the recent discovery of water on Mars, I thought I’d write about the potential for life (microbial life) on other planets.

imagesFrom the beginnings of modern science it has always been hypothesised that we are not alone in the universe. This idea has been the driving force behind years and years of science fiction writing, film and artwork. While many people may believe in extra-terrestrial life, it is not very well know that microbes may well hold the key. An extremophile is an organism that survives and thrives in a physically or chemically extreme environment that would be inhospitable to ‘normal’ organisms. Extremophiles are characterised by the environment they are found in, for instance a psychrophile is found in extreme cold, halophiles found in extremes of salt and xerophiles in extremely dry environments.

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