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National Science Foundation
Amazing Survivors

Extremophiles are organisms capable of living in conditions that would kill other life-forms, including intense cold, heat, pressure, dehydration, acidity/alkalinity and other chemical and physical extremes. A few animals, such as frogs that freeze solid in winter, can qualify. But in large part, the world's endurance champs are microbes: bacteria and archaea.
 
They're at home in some of the most forbidding pockets of the planet, where scientists are studying their survival mechanisms - and probing the outermost boundaries of life. (Click on each panel at left for specific information.)
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