NASA Astrobiology Program

Seafloor Microbes Abundant and Thriving … An Alternative Cradle for Life?

By Keith Cowing
June 27, 2008

Researchers from NAI’s Marine Biological Laboratory Team continue their study of the deep biosphere, reporting the latest results in Nature. This new study reveals that bacterial communities dwelling on ocean-bottom rocks are more abundant and diverse than previously thought, especially relative to the overlying water column. The microbes appear to ?feed? on the oceanic crust through seawater-rock alteration reactions involving the oxidation and hydration of glassy basalt. [Source: NAI Newsletter]

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