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FWD: [UASR] Scientists sustain life form in Mars-like setting

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  • Frits Westra
    Posted by : Ndunlks@aol.comScientists sustain life form in Mars-like settingCHICAGO, June 2 (Reuters) - Scientists said on Wednesday they have been able to
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 3, 1999
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      Posted by : Ndunlks@...

      Scientists sustain life form in Mars-like setting

      CHICAGO, June 2 (Reuters) - Scientists said on Wednesday they have been able
      to keep microbes, among the earth's most primitive life forms, growing in
      harsh conditions similar to those on Mars.

      The development could provide clues to what kind of life might exist on the
      red planet, the report said, though it's still a matter of guesswork.

      ``There's nothing from Mars for us to work with, so you have to play the game
      from the standpoint of Earth,'' said Tim Kral of the University of Arkansas.

      Kral and graduate student Curtis Bekkum, in a report released at a meeting of
      the American Society for Microbiology, said they tried to replicate Martian
      conditions by using ash from Hawaiian volcanoes known to share
      characteristics with Martian soil.

      Adding carbon dioxide, hydrogen and water, they placed microbes called
      methanogens in the mix. The methane-producing microbes, found deep in the
      ocean and in the earth's crust, are believed to be among the most primitive
      life forms on earth.

      The microbes grew successfully, obtaining the minerals they needed to
      survive, the report said.

      Scientists have said that while Mars does not appear to have liquid water on
      its surface, there may be small amounts of liquid below the surface. Kral
      said the methanogens in the experiment grew even with a limited water supply.

      14:50 06-02-99
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