According to TED.com: “While we like to imagine little green men, it’s far more likely that life on other planets will be microbial. Planetary scientist Nathalie Cabrol takes us inside the search for microbes on Mars, a hunt which counterintuitively leads us to the remote lakes of the Andes mountains. This extreme environment — with its thin atmosphere and scorched land — approximates the surface of Mars about 3.5 billion years ago. How microbes adapt to survive here may just show us where to look on Mars — and could help us understand why some microbial pathways lead to civilization while others are a dead end.”
“While hunting for life in the fragile biomes of the Andes, Nathalie Cabrol has braved earthquakes, set a diving record and gathered data on the threats faced by mountain ecosystems in the face of climate change.”
“But Cabrol’s eyes are always fixed on Mars, which may have once had a climate similar to Earth’s mountain deserts. As a science team member for NASA, Cabrol helps design interplanetary experiments for the Martian Spirit rover, and researches new technologies for future missions to Mars and beyond.”
For those of you not familiar with TED Talks here is a brief summery from www.ted.com: “TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences — the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Oxford UK each summer — TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and Open TV Project, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize”
I look forward to your thoughts and comments!