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Microbial Life


Move Over, Mars: The Search for Life on Saturn’s Largest Moon

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“The great thing about hydrothermal vents is that they provide a lot of energy sources for microbial life that doesn’t include sunlight,” says Julie Huber, a marine chemist at WHOI. Organisms living at hydrothermal vents on Earth’s seafloors, she explains, “can use chemical energy, so that means things like sulphur, iron, hydrogen and methane and they create a base of the food chain.”

Scientists pull living microbes, possibly 100 million years old, from beneath the sea

Science Magazine

Microbes buried beneath the sea floor for more than 100 million years are still alive, a new study reveals. When brought back to the lab and fed, they started to multiply. The microbes are oxygen-loving species that somehow exist on what little of the gas diffuses from the ocean surface deep into the seabed. The new work demonstrates “microbial life is very persistent, and often finds a way to survive,” says Virginia Edgcomb, a microbial ecologist at WHOI who was not involved in the work.

The Long-Lasting Legacy of Deep-Sea

Eos

Mining for rare metals can involve a good amount of detective work. It can take time and skill to find the most abundant sources. But in the deep ocean, metallic deposits sit atop the seafloor in full view—a tantalizing sight for those interested in harvesting polymetallic nodules.

Former Falmouth students credited in new study

Cape Cod Times

Rebecca Cox and Sarah Lott were interns at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution when they became a part of the breakthrough study, which found microorganisms living hundreds of meters beneath the seafloor.

Ocean Microbes: Novel Study Underscores Microbial Individuality

EcoMagazine.com

“Genetic information can teach us a lot about ecology, and these may be photosynthetic organisms that were unnoticed before,” said Maria Pachiadaki, a former Bigelow Laboratory postdoctoral researcher who is now an assistant scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the lead author on the paper. “If experiments confirm what the genes suggest, this is an important microbial group to consider in ocean carbon studies.”