Running Scared: Observations of a Former Republican
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"Losing my faith in humanity ... one neocon at a time."

Thursday, February 24, 2005

We may have found the cabana boy

posted by Jazz at 2/24/2005 07:44:00 AM

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Yesterday Ron had an interesting post about the possible discovery of a sea of frozen water on Mars. Following his speculation about building a beach house there, it appears that CNN may have found the first possible rental customers.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- A U.S. scientist claims to have thawed out a new life form, which he said raises questions about possible contemporary life on Mars.
The phrase "new life form" might be a bit misleading since, it's been there since the prehistoric era.

The organism froze on Earth some 30,000 years ago, and was apparently alive all that time and started swimming as soon as it thawed, said Richard Hoover from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)'s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama.

The life form -- a bacterium dubbed Carnobacterium pleistocenium -- probably flourished in the Pleistocene Age, along with woolly mammoths and saber-tooth tigers, said Hoover.

Now if this little guy can lay around in a frozen state ever since the Pleistocene, get thawed out and immediately start doing the backstroke, who's to say that there aren't similar beach dwellers "chilling out" up on that ocean on Mars?

The discovery of the living bacteria in Alaska's permafrost raises another possibility, Hoover said.

"The other thing that's exciting: Just like we found in the Fox tunnel of Alaska, frozen biology in the form of unicellular bacteria might even have remained alive, frozen in the Martian sea," he said.

This just in... a microscopic view of the new strain of bacteria may explain a lot about our current stage of evolution.