Life on Earth’s Ceiling
Biologists once thought that the stratosphere of Earth was uninhabitable due to its low pressure, high radiation, and absence of water and nutrients. However, recent studies have confirmed that microbes survive in this atmospheric region.
“Life surviving at high altitudes challenges our notion of the biosphere boundary,” says David Smith of the University of Washington in Seattle.
With funding from the NASA Astrobiology Institute, Smith and his colleagues are studying where these microorganisms come from, where they are going and what their evolutionary trajectory has been. The research should provide insights into a class of hardy microorganisms that can survive at the fringes of what we Earthlings consider habitable, both here and elsewhere.
- A Study in Nonfunctional RNA
- Workshop on the Potential for Finding Life in a Europa Plume
- Astrobiology Related Sessions at AGU
- Successful First AbGradE Symposium
- How Did Life Become Complex?
- Success for Orion
- M-Dwarf Planets With Oxygen in Their Atmospheres?
- Astrobiology Acupuncture
- How Can We Search for Life on Icy Moons?
- Proof-Of-Concept in an RNA World