Instead, colonies of microbes group in single “hot spots”, depending on processes such as wind and glaciation.
Biochemist Amanda Stockton from the Georgia Institute of Technology told the American Geophysical Union: “What FELDSPAR researchers have been working on is trying to figure out how many samples we need to get in order to probabilistically sample that one region that has that biological hotspot.”
NASA’s researchers picked Iceland for its study because of its desolate and volcanic fields devoid of any obvious life.
The black, rocky fields are the perfect candidate to hunt for life underground much in the same way Mars is.
Scientists believe the Red Planet once hosted a warmer and more humid atmosphere, with oceans and rivers of liquid water.