Life at Blood Falls
Researchers from NASA’s Exobiology Program and colleagues have discovered an unmapped reservoir of briny liquid buried under an inland Antarctic glacier that supports unusual microbial life. The environment is cold, dark, and lacks oxygen; conditions which would previously have led scientists to believe nothing could survive. After sampling and analyzing the outflow from below the Taylor Glacier, researchers believe that, lacking enough light to make food through photosynthesis, the microbes have adapted over the past 1.5 million years to manipulate sulfur and iron compounds to survive. Their research is published in the current issue of Science.