magnesium sulfate & microbes

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Tiassa, Oct 18, 1999.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    34,596
    The October, 1999 "Scientific American" offers a decent article on "The Hidden Ocean of Europa". Among other data, the Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer produced results which suggest the presence of large quantities of magnesium sulfate--Epsom salt--in the ice.

    I have no idea what that means to microbes. How would the "biggest deposits of Epsom salt in the solar system" affect the possible development of life in liquid water?

    thx,
    Tiassa

    ------------------
    "Let us not launch the boat until the ground is wet." (Khaavren of Castlerock)
     
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Something about microbes using sulfur compounds as food? There are extremophiles on Earth that live in highly acidic environments and eat sulfur (which could be a possibility for Europan life also...)

    ------------------
    I am; therefore I think.
     
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. Lava Let discovery flow Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    156
    Magnesium sulphate is a salt, and has the same concentration gradient effect as Nacl, ie it tends to dry things out. Its effect will depend on its concentration. If strong it will dry stuff out, if weak its simply a question of whether the microbes can keep their internal MgSO4 concentration below toxic limits.

    Lava
     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page