Informations et ressources scientifiques
sur le développement des zones arides et semi-arides

Accueil du site → Brèves → Brèves 2020 → Getting Water From a Stone : How Life Survives in Extreme Environments

Getting Water From a Stone : How Life Survives in Extreme Environments

SciTechDaily ( May 24, 2020 )

Titre : Getting Water From a Stone : How Life Survives in Extreme Environments

SciTechDaily ( May 24, 2020 )

Présentation
By studying how the tiniest organisms in the Atacama Desert of Chile, one of the driest places on Earth, extract water from rocks, researchers at the Johns Hopkins University, University of California, Irvine, and U.C. Riverside revealed how, against all odds, life can exist in extreme environments.

A report of the findings published this month in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences show how life can flourish in places without much water — including Mars, which has an environment similar to the Atacama — and how people living in arid regions may someday be able to procure hydration from available minerals.

“Scientists have suspected for a long time that microorganisms might be able to extract water from minerals, but this is the first demonstration of it,” says Jocelyne DiRuggiero, associate professor of biology at the Johns Hopkins University and the paper’s co-author.

“This is an amazing survival strategy for microorganisms living at the dry limit for life, and it provides constraints to guide our search for life elsewhere.” The research team focused on Chroococcidiospsis, a species of cyanobacteria that is found in deserts around the world, and gypsum, a calcium sulfate-based mineral that contains water. The colonizing lifeforms exist beneath a thin layer of rock that gives them protection against the Atacama’s extreme temperature, battering winds and blistering sun.

Source  : JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY

Annonce (SciTechDaily)

Page publiée le 28 juin 2021