Dark algae, life on Mars?
Name: Jungle Fever
I'm probably writing this is vain since my numerous other notes weren't
answered, but here goes. Does anyone out there know anything about the dark algae
found in Siberia (or Antarctica, I don't remember which) or the primitive microbes
found by Chris McKay that were revived by a drop of water? Also, can this concept
be applied to the possibility of life on Mars? I'd also appreciate any information
on extraterrestrial microorganisms or life forms. Much thanks.
I don't know specifically about the algae that you mention.
However, I do know that there are several kinds of algae that go
into a sexual reproductive state in response to adverse conditions
often including high temperatures or lack of moisture. This sexual
phase results in formation of a fertilized zygote which becomes dormant
until conditions are optimum for growth. This usually involves water -
so a drop of water could initiate growth of the new alga, and it could
reproduce asexually quite rapidly, until conditions trigger the sexual
phase again. I see no reason why such a growth pattern couldn't apply
to life on Mars or anywhere else. There isn't much information, as far
as I'm aware, regarding extraterrestrial life. So far, none has been
found, but it is likely, statistically, that there is some out there,
somewhere. The SETI program (Search for extraterrestrial intelligence),
funded in part by the Planetary Society, is trying to find higher forms
of life by doing radio searches.
Good luck, and let me know if you find out any other info.
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Update: June 2012