Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/21/2014 (1 month ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Healthy, thriving organisms found in sub-zero conditions may mean life on icy planets

The Arctic regions of our Earth, where there is very little marine or animal life seem at first incapable of sustaining organisms. However - recent discoveries at both Lake Vostok and Lake Whillans have uncovered healthy ecosystems of microbial life. According to scientists, this could mean similar life forms on other planets with icy climes, such as Saturn and Jupiter.

It came as a most welcome surprise, as scientists were not on a life-hunting expeditions. The indirect sampling process later raised questions about those results.

It came as a most welcome surprise, as scientists were not on a life-hunting expeditions. The indirect sampling process later raised questions about those results.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/21/2014 (1 month ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Micro -organisms, Arctic, Lake Vostok, Lake Whillans


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - More importantly, it raises the prospect that similar species could have lived -- or are still living on Mars. NASA's Curiosity rover mission has found that the planet most similar to Earth in the solar system once had the chemical constituents needed to support microbial life.

A new study has confirmed initial studies 20 years ago that found microbes in refrozen water samples retrieved from Lake Vostok, the largest sub-glacial Antarctic lake.

SAVE Iraqi Christians from Genocide --

A new study has confirmed initial studies 20 years ago that found microbes in refrozen water samples

A new study has confirmed initial studies 20 years ago that found microbes in refrozen water samples retrieved from Lake Vostok, the largest sub-glacial Antarctic lake.


It came as a most welcome surprise, as scientists were not on a life-hunting expeditions. The indirect sampling process later raised questions about those results.

"People weren't really thinking about ecosystems underneath the ice. The conventional wisdom was that they don't exist, it's a place that's too extreme for this kind of thing," Louisiana State University biologist Brent Christner says.

Christner and colleagues analyzed samples directly retrieved from another sub-glacial lake. Lake Whillans is beneath about a half-mile of ice on the lower portion of the Whillans Ice Stream in West Antarctica.

Researchers have since retrieved samples of healthy bacteria and other microorganisms living in a fr

Researchers have since retrieved samples of healthy bacteria and other microorganisms living in a freshwater lake buried beneath a half mile of ice on the frigid continent.


Scientists discovered at least 3,931 microbial species or groups of species in the lake waters, many of which use inorganic compounds as an energy source.

It's not probable that water has made its way through the half-mile of ice to reach the lake. Scientists instead believe the water comes from geothermal heating at the base of the lake and through frictional melting during ice flows.

The discovery of life underneath the ice sheets covering Antarctica raises the tantalizing possibility that similar severe environments in our solar system could harbor some form of life, scientists say.

Scientists discovered at least 3,931 microbial species or groups of species in the lake waters, many

Scientists discovered at least 3,931 microbial species or groups of species in the lake waters, many of which use inorganic compounds as an energy source.


Researchers have since retrieved samples of healthy bacteria and other microorganisms living in a freshwater lake buried beneath a half mile of ice on the frigid continent.

Researchers say that Lake Whillans might not be all that different from environments on a number of the icy moons of Saturn and Jupiter.

Both Europa, a moon of Jupiter and Enceladus, which circles Saturn have been found to possess large amounts of liquid water lying beneath their icy crusts.

Drilling down into the depths of Lake Whillans, scientists were surprised to find almost 4,000 microbial species living in the dark water, many of them dining on inorganic compounds as their primary energy source.

"People weren't really thinking about ecosystems underneath the ice," biologist Brent Christner of Louisiana State University says. "The conventional wisdom was that they don't exist, it's a place that's too extreme for this kind of thing."

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Green

Scientists call upon Pope Francis to take the lead on climate change Watch

Image of Pope Francis and the Catholic Church could change attitudes on an important topic.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Historically, the Catholic Church has been accused of being anti-science. This is a lie. The Catholic Church is pro-truth and in cases where science was not yet established, the Church has demurred or cautioned. Yet in cases where the science is established, the Church ... continue reading


Sunday's global warming march displays everything that's wrong with global warming activism Watch

Image of Displays like this are both absurd and counterproductive. The discussion about global warming needs to move from political rhetoric to one informed by ethics and moral guidance.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

This Sunday, thousands of climate activists will march on the streets of New York, in an effort to rekindle due concern over the environment. While the cause appears noble, the entire effort may be off to a doomed start. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This Sunday, ... continue reading


Just in time for Halloween! 'Werewolf' cat enchanting fanciers Watch

Image of The cats' sickly appearance is only skin deep. Aside from the patchy hair that makes them notable, the first few generations of Lykoi cats seem rather healthy thus far.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Gaining in popularity among cat fanciers and breeders, the "Lykoi" cat is most peculiar looking. Many would instantly assume the patchy critter is inflicted with a sort of mange. The "Lykoi" cat, or "werewolf" cat is in fact carefully raised for its unusual ... continue reading


Antarctic sea ice reaches record levels and why that's bad Watch

Image of Antarctic sea ice continues to expand by about 1.5 percent coverage every year. This trend has continued since 1979 and it thought to be driven by global warming.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Research ships and other vessels traveling through Antarctic waters will have to be very careful this year because Antarctic ice has expanded rapidly, increasing the hazard to ships. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - An incredible quantity of sea ice has formed ... continue reading


Terrifying new discovery: Spinosaurus dinosaur was the largest predator ever to walk the Earth Watch

Image of The monster's most distinctive feature was a row of spines that created an enormous sail down the middle of its back. Scientists think it was used for display purposes rather than to trap heat or store fat.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Described as a cross between a Tyrannosaurus Rex, a crocodile and a whale, the Spinosaurus was the largest predator ever to walk the Earth . or swim in its rivers. A recent discovery, the fierce beast is the first dinosaur known to have been adapted to an ... continue reading


VIDEO: Amazing video catches volcanic eruption along with sonic boom Watch

Image of Mount Tavurvur is known as a rather active volcano, one that caused many deaths and covered a nearby town in ash in 1994.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Mount Tavurvur, a volcano in Papua New Guinea, erupted late last month on August 29, throwing ash high into the air and causing a shock wave and resultant sonic boom. Phil McNamara caught the rare sight while boating near the New Guinea coast. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Sun spits STORM OF FIRE at Earth, will the northern lights be visible? Watch

Image of The Sun has an 11-year cycle of activity and is presently at its maximum for the current cycle.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A powerful solar storm approaching Earth should not be a direct hit, removing much cause for alarm. On Wednesday, the Sun spewed an X1.6 class solar flare aimed right at Earth, but the bulk of the resulting coronal mass ejection appears on track to miss Earth, passing ... continue reading


Deforestation of the Amazon continues at an alarming rate despite Brazil's best policies Watch

Image of Illegal logging has become an incredibly large part of the deforestation problem.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Brazilian government has released figures which reveal that destruction of the world's largest rainforest accelerated last year by 29%, totally reversing gains made since 2009. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The figures were compiled from satellite data ... continue reading


Is it getting hot in here? Greenhouse gas levels hit historic highs Watch

Image of A new study has revealed that the level of greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere have hit record highs, and suggest that the Earth is losing its ability to disperse the heat retaining gases.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Atmospheric temperatures have climbed much faster than scientists have expected and the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a record high last years according to new research published by the U.N.'s agency on meteorology. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Where are the wildfires? Global warming theory says California should be in flames... Watch

Image of California ought to be in flames, but without late-summer thunderstorms to spark fires, the state simply remains dry.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Washington Times recently reported that a mild fire season in the Western US is disrupting the global warming narrative --a sort of inconvenient truth for climate change proponents. The article is certainly correct, the fire season is well below average, so far, ... continue reading


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 55:6-9
6 Seek out Yahweh while he is still to be found, call ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 145:2-3, 8-9, 17-18
2 Day after day I shall bless you, I shall praise ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 20:1-16
1 'Now the kingdom of Heaven is like a landowner ... Read More

Reading 2, Philippians 1:20-24, 27
20 all in accordance with my most confident hope and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 21st, 2014 Image

St. Matthew
September 21: St. Matthew, one of the twelve Apostles, is the author of the ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter