Mar 16, 2007

Thermal diapirism and the habitability of the icy shell of Europa

Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere : the Journal of the International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life
Javier RuizRicardo Amils


Europa's chaos and lenticulae features may have originated by thermal diapirs related to convective plumes. Warm ice plumes could be habitable, since their temperature is close to the ice melting temperature. Moreover, thermal plumes intruding into the lower stagnant lid warm several kilometers of country ice above 230 K for periods of 10(5) years, and hundreds of meters above 240 K for periods of 10(4) years. Diapir coalescence generating chaos areas should provide a large zone with temperature above approximately 240 K for thousands of years. A temperature above approximately 230 K is potentially interesting for astrobiology, since it corresponds to the lowest temperature at which microbial metabolic activity in Antarctic ice has been reported. So, the warming by thermal plumes could cause an aureole of biological activation/reactivation in the country ice. Adaptation of life to either high salinity or low temperature is similar: it requires the synthesis of compatible solutes, like trehalose or glycerol, which are efficient cryoprotectants. We therefore propose that the future astrobiological exploration of Europa should include the search for compatible solutes in chaos and lenticulae features.

  • References24
  • Citations3


Mentioned in this Paper

Metabolic Process, Cellular
Extraterrestrial Life
Biological Adaptation
Space (Astronomy)

Trending Feeds


Coronaviruses encompass a large family of viruses that cause the common cold as well as more serious diseases, such as the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19; formally known as 2019-nCoV). Coronaviruses can spread from animals to humans; symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties; in more severe cases, infection can lead to death. This feed covers recent research on COVID-19.

Synthetic Genetic Array Analysis

Synthetic genetic arrays allow the systematic examination of genetic interactions. Here is the latest research focusing on synthetic genetic arrays and their analyses.

Autism: Motor Learning

A common feature of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the impairment of motor control and learning, consistent with perturbation in cerebellar function. Find the latest research on ASD and motor learning here.

Position Effect Variegation

Position Effect Variagation occurs when a gene is inactivated due to its positioning near heterochromatic regions within a chromosome. Discover the latest research on Position Effect Variagation here.

Sexual Dimorphism in Neurodegeneration

There exist sex differences in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. For instance, multiple sclerosis is more common in women, whereas Parkinson’s disease is more common in men. Here is the latest research on sexual dimorphism in neurodegeneration

Protein Localization in Disease & Therapy

Localization of proteins is critical for ensuring the correct location for physiological functioning. If an error occurs, diseases such as cardiovascular, neurodegenerative disorders and cancers can present. Therapies are being explored to target this mislocalization. Here is the latest research on protein localization in disease and therapy.

Genetic Screens in Bacteria

Genetic screens can provide important information on gene function as well as the molecular events that underlie a biological process or pathway. Here is the latest research on genetic screens in bacteria.

Head And Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinomas account for >90% of all tumors in the head and neck region. Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma incidence has increased dramatically recently with little improvement in patient outcomes. Here is the latest research on this aggressive malignancy.

Artificial Intelligence in Cardiac Imaging

Artificial intelligence (ai) techniques are increasingly applied to cardiovascular (cv) medicine in cardiac imaging analysis. Here is the latest research.

© 2020 Meta ULC. All rights reserved