Navigation Links
'Dark Energy': Life beneath the seafloor discussed at upcoming American Geophysical Union conference
Date:11/19/2012

"Who in his wildest dreams could have imagined that, beneath the crust of our Earth, there could exist a real ocean...a sea that has given shelter to species unknown?"

So wrote Jules Verne almost 150 years ago in A Journey to the Center of the Earth. Verne probably couldn't have imagined the diversity of life that researchers observe today under the ocean floor.

Scientists affiliated with the National Science Foundation (NSF) Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI) will discuss recent progress in understanding life beneath the seafloor at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) fall meeting, held in San Francisco from Dec. 3-7, 2012.

Once considered a barren plain dotted with hydrothermal vents, the seafloor and the crust beneath it are humming with microbial life--with "dark energy," says Katrina Edwards of the University of Southern California, director of C-DEBI.

Seafloor and subseafloor bacteria not only exist, they're more abundant and diverse than previously thought. The bacteria "feed" on the planet's oceanic crust, posing questions about ocean chemistry and the co-evolution of Earth and life.

"We now know that this remote region is teeming with microbes, more so than anyone guessed," says David Garrison, program director in NSF's Division of Ocean Sciences, which funds C-DEBI.

While scientists have estimated that microbes living in deep ocean sediments may represent as much as one-third of Earth's total biomass, the habitable part of the ocean crust may be ten times as great.

Dark environments appeared to offer little energy for sustaining life. But the abundance of microbes in the subseafloor causes scientists to wonder how long life may have thrived there.

Researchers are working to answer such questions as:

  • What is the nature of subseafloor microbial communities, and what is their role in the alteration of young ocean crust?
  • Are these communities unique, especially in comparison with seafloor and sedimentary communities?
  • Where do microbes in the ocean crust come from--sediment, rock, seawater or another source?


'/>"/>

Contact: Cheryl Dybas
cdybas@nsf.gov
703-292-7734
National Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. US-Russian collaboration develops new method for sequencing dark matter of life from a single cell
2. Bringing natural history collections out of the dark
3. Theres more star-stuff out there but its not dark matter
4. Researchers find potential dark side to diets high in beta-carotene
5. Duck-billed dinosaurs endured long, dark polar winters
6. Linking and lightening: New partnership connects and reveals dark data
7. Breaking up isnt hard to do -- the secret lives of corals on dark and stormy nights
8. MBL scientists to explore hidden realm of microbes, viruses beneath the ocean floor
9. Expedition to undersea mountain yields new information about sub-seafloor structure
10. Topics to be discussed during July International Coral Reef Symposium
11. New heart repair strategies discussed at UH lecture May 15
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
'Dark Energy': Life beneath the seafloor discussed at upcoming American Geophysical Union conference
(Date:12/15/2016)... , Dec. 14, 2016 "Increase in ... biometrics market" The mobile biometrics market is expected to ... 49.33 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 29.3% ... factors such as the growing demand for smart devices, ... transactions. "Software component is expected to grow ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Dec. 8, 2016  Singulex, Inc., the leader in ... entered into a license and supply agreement with Thermo ... agreement provides Singulex access to Thermo Scientific BRAHMS PCT ... is used to diagnose systemic bacterial infection and ... to aid in assessing the risk of critically ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... , Dec. 7, 2016   Avanade ... successful Formula One teams in history, exploit biometric data ... stop performance and maintain the competitive edge against their ... 2016. Avanade has worked with Williams ... range of biometric data (heart rate, breathing rate, temperature ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/20/2017)... January 20, 2017 Stock-Callers.com explores ... have influenced the most recent performances of select equities. ... RGLS ), Abeona Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... TBPH ), and Sage Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... Grand View Research, global Biotech market size is expected to reach $604.40 ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... 2017 http://www.Financialbuzz.com - ... leading causes of death worldwide. There were 8.2 million ... cancer related deaths increased gradually over time, the death ... of various cancers continues to drive demand of biological ... Global Market Insights, Inc. cancer biological therapy market size was ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... 2017 Research and Markets has announced the ... Cancer Type, Application - Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2014-2022" ... ... market is projected to reach $15,737 million by 2022 from $6,521 ... 2022. Omic technologies segment accounted for more than ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... and HOUSTON , Jan. 19, ... today announced the formation of its Medical/Clinical Advisory ... and industry veterans who enhance the range and ... accelerates development of its novel prenatal diagnostic tests.  ... clinical and strategic guidance for the company,s product ...
Breaking Biology Technology: