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Islands of Life: On Yungay Salar
An example of extreme life found in the Atacama Desert, Chile.
An example of extreme life found in the Atacama Desert, Chile.

Chile's Atacama desert has provided a great deal of information about how life on Earth is able to survive in harsh conditions. An area known as 'Yungay salar' is where bacteria were first discovered living inside halite (salt) rocks. Although other salars with colonized halite rocks have since been found, much of the ongoing research into how these bacteria survive such an arid environment still takes place in Yungay. Astrobiology Magazine Field Research Editor Henry Bortman recently accompanied a group of researchers in the Atacama, and in this installment he reports on the work of two young researchers, Sergio Valea and Petr Vitek - and describes his visit to a cemetery.

Last Updated: 22 July 2011

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Last Updated: 22 Jul 2011