Aliens have invaded Earth! Everybody run!!!
Okay, maybe this isn’t as dramatic as they make it in the movies, but recent findings out of Antarctica have given the science community an exciting revelation into life-sustaining environments. As described in a new publication from Nature, researchers Mukan Ji and Chris Greening from the Australian Center for Astrobiology discovered a new bacterium that acquires energy strictly from atmospheric gases H2, CO2, and CO. These findings came after metagenomic analysis of Antarctica’s desert soils, which identified microbial communities surviving in these adverse conditions.
By discovering and identifying microbial communities flourishing in this environment, interpretation of “life-sustaining” environments may never be the same. For example, searches throughout the universe for possible signs of life were somewhat limited to identifying water presence on a planet. However, as a result of this research, life clearly has the ability to exist simply due to atmospheric content. This research is yet another example of how incredible microbial life can be in adapting to their environments, and how microbiology can impact the other fields of science.
So if you want to see some aliens, just throw on your warmest clothes and start heading towards the South Pole!