Navigation Links
Hard rock life
Date:12/9/2013

Scientists are digging deep into the Earth's surface collecting census data on the microbial denizens of the hardened rocks. What they're finding is that, even miles deep and halfway across the globe, many of these communities are somehow quite similar.

The results, which were presented at the American Geophysical Union conference Dec. 8, suggest that these communities may be connected, said Matthew Schrenk, Michigan State University geomicrobiologist.

"Two years ago we had a scant idea about what microbes are present in subsurface rocks or what they eat," he said. "We're now getting this emerging picture not only of what sort of organisms are found in these systems but some consistency between sites globally we're seeing the same types of organisms everywhere we look."

Schrenk leads a team funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation's Deep Carbon Observatory studying samples from deep underground in California, Finland and from mine shafts in South Africa. The scientists also collect microbes from the deepest hydrothermal vents in the Caribbean Ocean.

"It's easy to understand how birds or fish might be similar oceans apart," Schrenk said. "But it challenges the imagination to think of nearly identical microbes 16,000 kilometers apart from each other in the cracks of hard rock at extreme depths, pressures and temperatures."

Cataloging and exploring this region, a relatively unknown biome, could lead to breakthroughs in offsetting climate change, the discovery of new enzymes and processes that may be useful for biofuel and biotechnology research, he added.

For example, Schrenk's future efforts will focus on unlocking answers to what carbon sources the microbes use, how they cope in such extreme conditions as well as how their enzymes evolved to function so deep underground.

"Integrating this region into existing models of global biogeochemistry and gaining better understanding into how deep rock-hosted organisms contribute or mitigate greenhouse gases could help us unlock puzzles surrounding modern-day Earth, ancient Earth and even other planets," Schrenk said.

Collecting and comparing microbiological and geochemical data across continents is made possible through the DCO. The DCO has allowed scientists from across disciplines to better understand and describe these phenomena, he added.


'/>"/>

Contact: Layne Cameron
Layne.cameron@cabs.msu.edu
517-353-8819
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/2/2017)... March 2, 2017 Australian stem cell and ... CYP), has signed an agreement with the Monash Lung ... Biomedicine Discovery Institute and Department of Pharmacology at Monash ... further preclinical study to support the use of Cymerus™ ... Asthma is a chronic, long term ...
(Date:2/27/2017)... WASHINGTON , Feb. 27, 2017   Strategic ... fund, today announced it has led a $3.5 million investment ... collaboration platform. Strategic Cyber Ventures is DC based and ... and Hank Thomas . Ron Gula , ... Tech Ventures, also participated in this series A round ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... LONDON , February 21, 2017 ... um 70 Millionen US-Dollar wachsen. Nach einem Gespräch mit mehr ... es einige Hindernisse zu überwinden gilt, um diese Prognose ... ... unter anderem die Mobilisierung der finanziellen Mittel für die ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 22, 2017  Ascendis Pharma A/S ... innovative TransCon technology to address significant unmet medical ... for the full year ended December 31, 2016. ... for our company as we broadened our pipeline ... integrated rare disease company with an initial focus ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 22, 2017   iSpecimen ®, the ... Doctors Pathology Service (DPS), a full-service anatomic pathology ... the United States , has joined a program ... Network (DHIN) to make human biospecimens and associated ... novel program, announced in 2015 as a collaboration between ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 2017   Boston Biomedical , an industry leader ... target cancer stemness pathways, today announced its Board of ... Chief Executive Officer, effective April 24, 2017. ... , M.D., FACP, who has led Boston Biomedical since ... leadership, Boston Biomedical has grown from a "garage startup" ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... Yorba Linda, Ca (PRWEB) , ... March 21, ... ... immunogenicity, and clearance of biologics. To acquire information on the desired increase and/or ... in the biopharmaceutical industry for rapid N-glycosylation profiling of therapeutic antibodies. , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: