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Extremophiles - How to Find Life on Mars

This Catalyst article looks at life in extreme environments on Earth which can suggest how life might exist on Mars. One of the developments in recent years that really opened up scientists’ eyes to the possibility of life on Mars has been the realization of just how adaptable and versatile life on Earth is.

The extremophiles are a broad class of organisms found surviving in the most hostile and extreme environments on the planet. These range from volcanic lakes of boiling hot, acidic water, to freezing-cold, bone dry deserts, and high up in the atmosphere bombarded by harmful radiation from the Sun. The fact that earthly organisms can tolerate such extremes bolsters scientists' optimism that life could thrive in similar habitats on other planets and moons, but it is the survival mechanisms that these endurance superheroes use that are truly fascinating.

This article is from Catalyst: Secondary Science Review 2013, Volume 23, Issue 4.

Catalyst is a science magazine for students aged 14-19 years. Annual subscriptions to print copies of the magazine can be purchased from Mindsets.

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