The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Scientists Say Life Could Survive on Saturn’s Moon

    When NASA probe Cassini surveyed geysers on Saturn’s moon Enceladus, it discovered molecular hydrogen, carbon dioxide and methane in the plumes. That got University of Vienna researchers thinking: Earth microbe Methanothermococcus okinawensis consumes hydrogen and carbon dioxide and produces methane, surviving in deep-sea thermal vents. Could it thrive in the waters under Enceladus’ icy crust? They’ve replicated the moon’s environment to test the hypothesis, and now hope to compare their samples to Cassini’s data to determine if the methane produced on Enceladus shows signs of being biological.

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