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Monday, January 6, 2014

There are Tiny organisms below the Earth's surface

In a miles and miles under the Earth's surface where there is no light or water, small organisms painstakingly maintain its existence. The researchers claimed to barely know the tiny organisms and failed to grow the bacteria in the laboratory because it is difficult to understand how they survive the harsh, energy-starved environment below the planet's surface.

"We ask a very basic question, Who are they? What are they doing? How'd they get in there? How many of them there?," Said Jan Amend, an earth scientist from Black Energy Biosphere Investigations Center, University of Southern California, as reported by LiveScience.

"It is a question that is very, very simple but very fundamental, we do not know the answer," he added. To answer this question, the scientists start census for the catalogs of subsurface life on Earth.

Over the past few decades, the researchers examined the microbial communities on the sea floor and gradually into the subsurface. Deeper and deeper, scientists are still finding life. Previous deepest life is bacteria that live approximately 3.2 kilometers under the surface of a gold mine in South Africa (and in 2011, scientists even found worms that live underground and eat those bacteria.).
The dark shaft of the Mponeng mine in South Africa.. (Picture from: http://www.livescience.com/)
Rick Colwell, a microbiologist from Oregon State University that introduces the new census findings of the organism in the early months of the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco, said all the underground archaea and bacteria have been found in sediments in the hydrothermal vents, lakes subglasial, mud volcanoes, underwater mountain, and many other environments.

Colwel said though it was too early findings, they found life in amazing depth. Very similar life forms are also found in the community in different environments. So, even if the evolution of forcing them to live under the ground in the same way or they are close to the origin of life.

Jens Kallmeyer, a geochemist from the University of Potsdam, in Germany, said the organism who live in darkness only reproduce every few months or years and have a slow metabolism similar to some organisms move only a few electrons per second. "We do not understand how an organism can survive on less energy," he said. *** [EKA | FROM PREVIOUS SOURCES |  LIVESCIENCE]
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