Podcast: The Cave Dwellers

mtsitunes220In my latest podcast, I talk to Hazel Barton, a microbiologist who explores the bizarre biology of microbes that live in deep caves. Check it out.

0 thoughts on “Podcast: The Cave Dwellers

  1. Um… Carl… Fact Check?
    This premises associated with looking for Martian-like critters in Earth caves is more than just a little self-serving. The premise says that microbes on Mars, if they exist, might be deep underground to avoid cosmic rays and UV radiation from the Sun. The lack of a martian atmosphere results in lethal doses of UV light. The relative lack of a Martian magnetic field also means many more cosmic rays will hit Mars. Does this really mean that cave-dwelling microbes are a sensible model? NO!!! Why? Because even terrestrial cave dwelling microbes require liquid water! There is no evidence of liquid water on Mars. The surface of Mars is far too cold for liquid water to trickle down. Magmatic heat from deep inside is less likely to reach up high enough to liquify water on Mars that it is even on Earth (where it is not likely to contribute much anyway). Geothermal activity on Earth relies mostly on the results of plate tectonics. Mars is no longer tectonically active. So, please, can we get beyond the notion that earthly wet caves have anything to do with the possibility of life on Mars underground? No heat, no flowing liquid water on Mars. The premises are false.

  2. Just to clarify… I did not mean Carl was self-serving. I meant spelunking microbiologists who claim they are researching a model for finding life on Mars are. And to be fair, this was just the tail end of an otherwise informative podcast. Glad you’re over the flu Carl.

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