Microbial life, almost unbelievably resilient, abides in boiling hot springs and bone-dry deserts, in pools of acid and polar ice, kilometers up into the sky and kilometers below the ocean floor. And while scientists are eager to uncover microbes in even less familiar territories beyond our solar system, it’s the last Earth-bound frontier on that list — the deep subsurface — where they’re now making exciting progress in their efforts to probe life’s extreme adaptability.

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