Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rock varnish: A promising habitat for Martian bacteria

As scientists search for life on Mars, they should take a close look at rock varnish, according to a paper in the current issue of the "Journal of Geophysical Research."

The paper describes how a research team led by Kimberly R. Kuhlman, of the Tucson-based Planetary Science Institute, found bacteria associated with rock varnish in an area where the surrounding soils were essentially devoid of life. The study suggests that rock varnish could provide a niche habitat for microbial life on Mars and in other extraterrestrial environments devoid of liquid water.

1 comment:

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