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NASA discovers new microbe …

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A magnified image of the berry-shaped Tersicoccus pheonicis, a new species of bacteria discovered in Nasa's clean rooms
Tersicoccus pheonicis/NASA, JPL-Caltech

… in its own clean room. The one used for building spacecraft.

A new genus and species of bactreia “capable of living in a harsh, nutrient-poor environment”:

These rooms are kept extremely dry, are cleaned with chemicals including bleach and have negative air pressure to keep out any contaminants.

Ultraviolet light and heat treatments are also used to kill off any life on objects that go in and workers are required to wear special suits.

However, Nasa has revealed that it has discovered a hardy new species of microbe that has is able to survive in this highly inhospitable environment.

The reason NASA adopts such rigorous procedures, of course, is to prevent mistaking a life form that hitched a ride for an extraterrestrial one.

The reason Tersicoccus was never noticed elsewhere is all the other types of bacteria in a normal environment. THe environment had to be something only Tersicoccus would survive.

somewhat along that line of thought:
Extreme Genome Repair - 2009 Excerpt: If its naming had followed, rather than preceded, molecular analyses of its DNA, the extremophile bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans might have been called Lazarus. After shattering of its 3.2 Mb genome into 20–30 kb pieces by desiccation or a high dose of ionizing radiation, D. radiodurans miraculously reassembles its genome such that only 3 hr later fully reconstituted nonrearranged chromosomes are present, and the cells carry on, alive as normal.,,, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3319128/

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