Monday, June 23, 2008

Extremophiles getting some props too

With the Mars Lander scratching the surface of the Red Planet looking for indications that life could exist there, the time is ripe for some public education about microbes and extremophiles. And fortunately the press is picking up on this possibility. For example, CNN.COM has picked up an AP story on extremophiles: Life in Earth's toughest places; how about Mars? -

In the article, Alicia Chang from AP writes:
But if there were past or present life on the red planet -- a big if -- scientists speculate it would likely be similar to some extreme life on Earth -- microscopic and hardy, capable of withstanding colder-than-Antarctica temperatures and low pressures.
Most living things on Earth thrive not only in the presence of water, but also need sunlight, oxygen and organic carbon. But the range of conditions in which life can survive has been expanded with recent discoveries of micro-organisms trapped in glaciers and rocks or living in volcanic vents and battery acid-like lakes.
The AP article is quite reasonable, as far as science reporting goes. However, there is some stink going on in the bloggosphere about AP bullying bloggers regarding fair use so you might want to check out AP: Stupid, it hurts! and AP Files 7 DMCA Takedowns Against Drudge Retort and AP/Drudge Retort “Resolution” Leaves Fair Use Questions Unanswered.

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