Skip to main content

Going to the Extreme

In work published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, scientists found extremophiles -- photoautotrophic microbial communities -- in the Atacama desert in Chile, the driest place on Earth and also the place that most resembles the conditions on Mars. If life could be found to exist here, the authors suppose, it could be found on Mars, too. Researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder's Alpine Microbial Observatory combined biogeochemical and molecular phylogenetics to look at the genetic diversity of the microbial community at the top of the 19,850-foot-high Socompa volcano. Near the areas around the volcanic fumaroles, they found "a thriving, complex microbial community that appears to be supported by gases emanating from volcanic vents around the rim," says a post at Ars Technica.

The Scan

Not Kept "Clean and Sanitary"

A Food and Drug Administration inspection uncovered problems with cross contamination at an Emergent BioSolutions facility, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Resumption Recommendation Expected

The Washington Post reports that US officials are expected to give the go-ahead to resume using Johnson & Johnson's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Canada's New Budget on Science

Science writes that Canada's new budget includes funding for the life sciences, but not as much as hoped for investigator-driven research.

Nature Papers Examine Single-Cell, Multi-Omic SARS-CoV-2 Response; Flatfish Sequences; More

In Nature this week: single-cell, multi-omics analysis provides insight into COVID-19 pathogenesis, evolution of flatfish, and more.