Research buzz: Using Antarctic microbes to consider feasibility of life on Mars
Dr. Shiladitya DasSarma (University of Maryland School of, Baltimore Sun / February 28, 2010)
Researchers: Shiladitya DasSarma, a professor in the department of microbiology and immunology, led the study. Colleagues in the department. Melinda D. Capes, Ram Karan and Priya DasSarma. co-authored.
Stage of research: The study was published online in PLOS ONE, a scientific journal of the Public Library of Science, on March 11. Continuing research is exploring individual proteins within a particular type of organism to learn about how the proteins could be used in producing useful materials.
Implications: The findings could help understand how microorganisms might be able to live on Mars as NASA's Curiosity rover looks for signs of life on the planet. There have been some indications of possible underground brine pools on the planet that could, in theory, support similar kinds of life as the microbes found in Antarctica.