Coldest Temperature That Life Can Survive

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Scientific researchers from the British Antarctic Survey have found what they believe to be the lowest temperature under which life can still survive and grow.

Life forms can exist on Earth in extreme conditions like ice cores, caves, and in the deepest parts of the ocean.
Scientific researchers from the British Antarctic Survey have found what they believe to be the lowest temperature under which life can still survive and grow.

To test this, the researchers put single cell organisms in a watery environment and lowered the temperature to see when the organisms became vitrified, or unable to reproduce, which the scientists considered to be no longer living.

The researchers determined that negative 20 degrees Celsius is the lowest temperature the organisms could reproduce before becoming vitrified.
Lead author of the study, Professor Andrew Clarke said: “The interesting thing about vitrification is that in general a cell will survive, where it wouldn't survive freezing. But if you can do a controlled vitrification you can survive. Once a cell is vitrified it can continue to survive right down to incredibly low temperatures.”

The results of the study help explain why deep freezing food preserves it and stops it from rotting, because bacteria and mold cannot multiply in such cold temperatures.

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