Islamabad    -   Traces of phosphine gas detected in the clouds above Venus could be an indication that the planet supports microbial life, a study has concluded. On Earth, phosphine — a colorless gas that smells like garlic, or decaying fish — is naturally produced mainly by certain microorganisms in the absence of oxygen. It can also be released in small amounts from the breakdown of organic matter, or industrially synthesized in chemical plants. Experts from the UK, however, found signs of phosphine in Venus’ atmosphere — suggesting the planet must support unknown chemical processes, or even life. The second-closest planet to the Sun, Venus is inhospitable — with a surface temperature around 867°F (464°C) and pressure 92 times that of on the Earth. However, it’s upper cloud deck — 33–38 miles (53–62 kilometres) above the surface — is a more temperate 120°F (50°C), with a pressure equal to that at Earth sea level.