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Exoplanets, Extremophiles and other Kinds of Minds

2 May 2011, 22:21 UTC
Exoplanets, Extremophiles and other Kinds of Minds
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Just a few days after I wrote a highly-speculative post outlining the relationship of lifeforms and planets, and the intriguing link between what other kinds of minds are possible for specific characteristics of planets--along comes these findings of bacteria that feel at home with hypergravity.

In the experiment, researchers spun E. coli and other bacteria in an ultacentrifuge and revved it up to its fastest speed, amounting up to something like 400,000 Gs. The bacteria not only lived through the "hypergravity" experience, they even reproduced.

So, on planetary scales, I can say that these bacteria can survive on the surface of a white dwarf with the same spherical size as earth but with the mass equivalent to the sun. The gravitational force on its surface is somewhere around 300,000 G.

So if I was beamed down (a la Star Trek) onto the surface of a cool white dwarf, upon materializing I would immmediately be crushed into a pancake-shaped goo. But some of the bacteria inhabiting my body will still survive the crushing gravity! And if some other conditions permitted (let's be generous by adding oxygen into the atmosphere, aside from temperate other imaginings), they will feed on my jello'ed body ...

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