Discoveries Boost Hope for Alien Life

New forms of extreme bacteria fuel hope for extraterrestrial life
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2008 12:47 PM CDT
Bacteria can live in many places once thought inhospitable to live, raising hopes that they might also dwell in cold, dry places like just under the surface of Mars.   ((c) kaibara87)
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(Newser) – Humans have always wondered about the possibility of alien life somewhere out there. And while scientists seem to agree that the discovery of extraterrestrials will not happen soon, growing numbers are convinced it will happen. The search is being fueled in part by recent discoveries of strange new life forms on Earth, which is raising scientists' hope for similar types of life on other planets, reports the Washington Post.

Extremophiles, bacteria that thrive in conditions once thought to preclude any sort of life, have been found in superheated steam vents on the sea floor and at the bottom of diamond mines, feeding off radiation. "Organic material is falling from the sky all the time, and we're learning that what happens out there is very important down here," said a NASA expert. "Who knows: Maybe life on Earth came from Mars billions of years ago."