Melbourne: A team of microbiologists from the US and Russia have discovered bacterial microbes living in an incredibly hostile environment in Siberia, which is similar to that found on Mars.
According to Russian newspaper Pravda, microbiologists from the Institute of Physical and Biological Issues in Soil Science have completed their study on Siberian bacteria and found that a handful of them could possibly thrive on Mars, the Daily Telegraph reported.
They took samples of bacteria living up to 20m below the permafrost alongside the Kolyma River and found a host of unexpectedly thriving bacterial colonies.
To make sure, a Martian-like environment - very cold, low atmospheric pressure and little oxygen - was recreated in a laboratory and the bacteria were introduced.
Some ten thousand different samples of Siberian bacteria were transplanted in the environment, out of which only six survived and multiplied.
The bacteria belong to a family called Carnobacterium, which is found mainly in Antarctica and Alaska.