- A NASA study has found that the rocks on the surface of Mars that look like layers of pasta may be the most obvious sign of life on the planet.
- According to the study, the bacterium that controls the formation of such rocks on Earth is ancient and thrives in harsh environments that are similar to conditions on Mars. The bacterium is known as Sulfurihydrogenibium yellowstonense; popularly known as Sulfuri.
- The bacterium belongs to a lineage that evolved prior to the oxygenation of Earth roughly 2.35 billion years ago.
It can survive in extremely hot, fast-flowing water bubbling up from underground hot springs. It can also withstand exposure to ultraviolet light. Further, it survives only in environments with extremely low oxygen levels, using sulphur and carbon dioxide as energy sources.