Rare New Microbe Found in Two Distant Clean Rooms

A microbe that can survive on very little food and through sterilization processes has only been found in two spacecraft clean-rooms, first in Florida (JPL) — back in 2007 for the launch of the Phoenix Mars Lander — and more recently in South America (ESA).

This new microbe, the Tersicoccus phoenicis, is so different from known organisms that it gets it’s own genus. It seems that this microbe is only found in clean rooms because it gets out-competed by other organisms, get rid of the competition and this genus starts to show up. It might also be in the soil but could just be buried, making it undetectable by the thousands of different types of other organisms.

Read more: NASA, SciAm

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