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Monday, March 07, 2005

New Type of Life Found on Ocean Floor

There is an interesting story at cnn.com about an ecoysytem on the ocean floor. I had heard about thermal vents that harbored life without the presence of oxygen. However those systems had high enery outputs...temperatures in the range of 700 F and created large amounts of carbon dioxide upon which microbes lived. This system is only in the range of 150 F and has little carbon dioxide. What caught my attention was the relatively low temperature and the fact that these creatures live primarily off of methane and hydrogen. I'm not a biochemist but it seems like these type of conditions could possibly exist on Titan and Europa. Titan has large amounts of methane and Europa possibly has a large ocean under the ice.

I wish someone would work on developing rocket engines that could get large exploratory vehicles to those locations.

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