A radon-resistant microbial community

Roberto Anitori, Ruth Henneberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Paralana hot spring is an intriguing site with astrobiological implications as an analogue for conditions on the early Earth. The research conducted thus far has identified a diverse community of mostly thermophilic microbes. Whilst it is possible that the resident microbial community is unaffected by the radon, we consider this the least likely possibility. More probable is that the microbes have adapted to the environment, having evolved mechanisms that allow them to survive in the presence of ionising radiation. If this is the case, then the NASA collaborative study has a good chance of identifying a highly radiationresistant microbe. So, remember to occasionally look up into the heavens over the next few years – that bright streak might just be carrying Australia’s first official ‘micronauts’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-32
Number of pages3
JournalMicrobiology Australia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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