Microorganisms are on Mars, the red planet.
They live there, have colonized it, and are helping us to survive, scientists say.
The life forms that live there are, according to the latest scientific evidence, quite different from the ones we know on Earth, including plants, animals and fungi.
Here’s what we know about the different types of microbes on Mars.
Plants and animals.
Microorganisms on Mars can grow on any surface, and many are carnivorous, eating the leaves, bark and roots of their hosts.
But microorganisms are also known to live in areas of extreme desertity, and the plants and animals that live in those areas are not as diverse as those found in our planet.
Some microorganisms live in extreme cold or ice, and others in hot or dry environments.
And some microorganisms may be more prevalent in arid environments than in warm, temperate ones.
Microbiologists are trying to learn more about the life forms on Mars by studying the plant and animal samples collected in the recent past.
They are looking for microbes that have survived, or may be surviving, in conditions that would make them suitable for growing on Mars — for example, if the plants on Mars were subjected to temperatures in excess of 800 degrees Fahrenheit (250 degrees Celsius).
In addition, researchers are looking at the microbes that live inside the ice sheets that cover the red world.
Plants that eat other plants.
In the past, researchers have noticed that some microbes on the planet have a natural affinity for certain plants, and have adapted to eat them.
These include some plants known as symbionts, which are like the symbiont between humans and plants, like the potato.
Some researchers are now thinking that the plant-eating microbes may be able to adapt to different environments on Mars to survive and reproduce.
In addition to the plant symbiontes, scientists are also interested in the microbes known as phytoplankton.
The microorganisms that live on the surface of Mars, known as plankton, have a symbiotic relationship with water that is made up of hydrogen atoms and oxygen atoms.
In other words, the microbes can live in the water and use it to survive on Mars and other worlds.
Microbes can also use the hydrogen and oxygen in the plankton for energy.
These microbes have been discovered in the past in environments that are similar to those on Earth.
They can live as long as six months in a water tank and, in some cases, have been found growing for more than a year.
Humans on Mars: not quite like us.
Mars is about a billion miles (1.6 billion kilometers) from Earth, and there are only a few places in the solar system where humans have ever been on Mars at all.
And scientists are trying, through different methods, to learn about the human species there.
One of these methods is genetic mapping.
This method involves finding samples of Martian soil and DNA from the living organisms in the soil, so that scientists can study how the DNA and the soil reacted to the conditions of the ancient Martian environment.
The DNA from these organisms is passed down to humans through their skin, hair and urine.
And so the DNA from ancient Martian organisms is now being passed down from generation to generation in human genomes.
This is a technique that can also be used to study the genetics of ancient microbial communities.
The results of these studies will be important in understanding the genetic makeup of human communities in other planets.
Plants on Mars are quite different.
On Mars, microbial life appears to be less diverse than we would expect.
For example, in the Red Planet, the bacteria are probably much smaller, and they can live for days on the dry surface, while the plant life is much more abundant.
And because Mars is so hot, plants and animal species are more numerous.
The plants on Earth are more abundant in areas that are cooler, so they are not common on Mars in the same way.
But in areas with more plant life, such as the arid northern deserts, microorganisms have adapted and are more prevalent.
So these differences between plants on the red Mars and those on the Earth are interesting, said Dr. Thomas Ziegler, a microbial biologist at the University of California, Berkeley.
Microbial life in the future.
Microbe-on-microbe interaction research is also gaining traction.
This involves using DNA sequences from ancient microbial organisms to study how microbial communities evolve.
For this, scientists need to find DNA sequences that can be sequenced and used to predict the microbial communities of ancient environments.
This has been a relatively recent field of study in microbial genetics, but the results from some of these projects suggest that the human genome may have a great deal to contribute to this field.
This will help us understand how human populations evolve,