Extremophiles are organisms that can be found in places with conditions that are so harsh, that traditional biology would not expect to find any forms of life. Temperatures over boiling point and under freezing point of water, alkaline and acid pH conditions, extreme salinity and high pressures are only a few of the extreme conditions that these organisms must cope with in their daily survival.
They were discovered over half a century ago and up to this date, the list of novel findings is growing exponentially. These microbial communities that inhabit extreme environments, including high and low temperatures ecosystems such as those present in deep sea hypothermal vents or the Dry Valleys and frozen lakes of Antarctica respectively, have extended our definition of the habitability zone and thus the search of potential extraterrestrial life.
Recent progress in extremophile biology, exploration of planetary bodies in the solar system are leading to new insights in the field of Astrobiology and possible distribution of life in the universe.
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