Skip to main content

Hardy Microbes Hint at Possibilities for Extraterrestrial Life

Extremophile research was pioneered by the late Thomas Brock, a microbiologist at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He found, against all expectations, that certain hardy microbes could thrive in geothermal springs hot enough to poach an egg. The microbiologist’s curiosity led to the isolation of a molecule—from a heat-loving bacterium—that is now used in labs across the world to amplify and sequence DNA. Brock passed away in April, but his legacy lives on.