News FocusPALEOBIOLOGY

Permafrost Comes Alive for Siberian Researchers

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Science  01 Oct 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5437, pp. 36-37
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5437.36a

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Summary

POINT CHUKOCHII, RUSSIA-- Researchers gearing up for missions to Mars, Europa, and other cosmic bodies prepare by studying life in some of the harshest environments at home. Their venues range from ancient arctic permafrost and ice to antarctic lakes that haven't seen daylight for millions of years (see sidebar). But the work on the microbes themselves is proving far more interesting--and in some instances, disturbing--than scientists had ever imagined.