Science: Life in the Clouds

Terrestrial life exists in many unexpected places. One variety of tiny plant survives in hot sulfuric acid; others flourish at 9°F. below zero. One species of algae grows only among the hairs of the three-toed sloth; another rides the backs of turtles. Now it appears that even clouds floating through the earth's atmosphere provide a precarious home for tiny organisms. Microbiologist Bruce Parker of Virginia Polytechnic Institute, writing in Natural History, argues that tiny animals and plants are feeding, growing and even reproducing high in the sky.

Parker came upon his evidence quite...

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