Harsh Ethiopian pools show limits of life

Space Science

The ability of life to adapt to extreme conditions is a source of wonder in science, with microorganisms thriving where it seems impossible.

But a report on livescience.com shows that there are certainly limits.

A study of Ethiopian pools brings scientists to a quick conclusion about the search for life on other planets: Water “might be a necessary condition, but it is far from sufficient.”

Life survives in scorching heat. It can handle high concentrations of magnesium-based salt. Life can even tolerate acidic conditions. But combine all three, and the most hardy microorganisms can’t live.

The article summarizes findings published on Oct. 28 in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution.

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