Oldest organisms on Earth capable of surviving on Mars

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Published: June 8, 2015 4:51 PM

A new study has revealed that oldest and simplest organisms on Earth called methanogens have the capability to survive under low-pressure Martian conditions.

A new study has revealed that oldest and simplest organisms on Earth called methanogens have the capability to survive under low-pressure Martian conditions.

New research at the University of Arkansas suggested that they are anaerobic, so they don’t require oxygen. They don’t require organic nutrients, either, and are non-photosynthetic, indicating they could exist in sub-surface environments and therefore are ideal candidates for life on Mars.

Rebecca Mickol, a doctoral student in space and planetary sciences, found that in the laboratory, four species of methanogens survived low-pressure conditions that simulated a subsurface liquid aquifer on Mars.

The four species of methanogens Mickol studied were: Methanothermobacter wolfeii, Methanosarcina barkeri, Methanobacterium formicicum, Methanococcus maripaludis.

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