Wednesday, 22 February 2017


Enough to make even the hardiest water bear (tardigrade) blanch, spelunkers studying extremophile biotopes have extracted microbes from crystals buried deep in an abandoned zinc mine in Chihuahua that researchers believe to be between ten-thousand and fifty-thousand years old.
Discoveries such as these really push the limits of our conventional definitions of how and indeed where life manifests itself. Such rugged determination speaks to the theory of panspermia, the idea that life could be propagated through the Cosmos on the backs of comets, meteors or even on the breaking crest of a radio-wave but also is a stark warning for us as explorers to be vigilant about stowaways and unintended contamination.