Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. 24/7 Space News .




EXO LIFE
Life discovered on dead hydrothermal vents
by Staff Writers
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Jan 26, 2012


File image.

Scientists at USC have uncovered evidence that even when hydrothermal sea vents go dormant and their blistering warmth turns to frigid cold, life goes on. Or rather, it is replaced.

A team led by USC microbiologist Katrina Edwards found that the microbes that thrive on hot fluid methane and sulfur spewed by active hydrothermal vents are supplanted, once the vents go cold, by microbes that feed on the solid iron and sulfur that make up the vents themselves.

These findings - based on samples collected for Edwards by US Navy deep sea submersible Alvin (famed for its exploration of the Titanic in 1986) - provide a rare example of ecological succession in microbes.

The findings were published in mBio in an article authored by Edwards, USC graduate researcher Jason Sylvan, and Brandy Toner of the University of Minnesota.

Ecological succession is the biological phenomenon whereby one form of life takes the place of another as conditions in an area change - a phenomenon well-documented in plants and animals.

For example, after a forest fire, different species of trees replace the older ones that had stood for decades.

Scientists have long known that active vents provided the heat and nutrients necessary to maintain microbes. But dormant vents - lacking a flow of hot, nutrient-rich water - were thought to be devoid of life.

Hydrothermal vents are formed on the ocean floor with the motion of tectonic plates. Where the sea floor becomes thin, the hot magma below the surface creates a fissure that spews geothermally heated water - reaching temperatures of more than 400 degrees C.

After a (geologically) brief time of actively venting into the ocean, the same sea floor spreading that brought them into being shuffles them away from the hotspot. The vents grow cold and dormant.

"Hydrothermal vents are really ephemeral in nature," said Edwards, professor of biological sciences at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

Microbial communities on sea floor vents have been studied since the vents themselves were first discovered in the late 1970s. Until recently, little attention had been paid to them once they stopped venting, though.

Sylvan said he would like to take samples on vents of various ages to catalogue exactly how the succession from one population of microbes to the next occurs.

Edwards, who recently returned from a two-month expedition to collect samples of microbes deep below the ocean floor, said that the next step will be to see if the ecological succession is mirrored in microbes that exist beneath the surface of the rock.

"The next thing is to go subterranean," she said.

.


Related Links
University of Southern California
Life Beyond Earth
Lands Beyond Beyond - extra solar planets - news and science






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





EXO LIFE
NASA Debunks Life on Venus Claim
Moscow (RIA Novosti) Jan 26, 2012
NASA has dismissed the sensational claim by a Russian scientist that there is life on Venus, saying that the "disc" seen moving on the surface was in fact a lens cap. Earlier this month an article published in Solar System Research magazine reported several objects resembling living beings detected on photos made by the Soviet probe that landed on Venus in 1982. Leonid Ksanfomaliti o ... read more


EXO LIFE
Roscosmos Revives Permanent Moon Base Plans

Russia talks of permanent moon base

Montana Students Pick Winning Names for Moon Craft

Students rename NASA moon probes Ebb and Flow

EXO LIFE
Mars Rover Finds New Evidence of Water

U.S. Denies Link to Mars Mission Failure

Three Generations of Rovers with Crouching Engineers

Adjusting Robotic Arm on Amboy Rock

EXO LIFE
Toronto teens send Lego man into space: video

Volunteers Sought for Simulated Mars Mission and Study of 'Menu Fatigue'

2012 - Year of the Dragon

T-rays technology could help develop Star Trek-style hand-held medical scanners

EXO LIFE
China's satellite navigation sector annual output predicted to reach 35 bln USD in 2015

China plans to launch 21 rockets, 30 satellites this year

Shenzhou 9 Behind the Curtain

China Plans to Launch 30 Satellites in 2012

EXO LIFE
Russia Orbits Chibis Microsatellite

Russian Space Freighter to be Buried in Pacific

Progress Space Freighter Undocks from ISS

Russian cargo vessel takes off for space station

EXO LIFE
MT Aerospace wins contract for operation and maintenance of launch facilities' mechanical systems

Proton-M, Dutch Satellite Taken to Launch Pad

Delta 4 Launches Air Force Wideband Global SATCOM-4 Satellite

Stratolaunch Systems Announces Ground Breaking At Mojave

EXO LIFE
NASA's Kepler confirms 26 new planets

Earth's Cloudy Past Could Reveal Exoplanet Details

Re-thinking an Alien World

Scientists Discover a Saturn-like Ring System Eclipsing a Sun-like Star

EXO LIFE
First 'cloaking' of a 3D object announced

Netflix gains subscribers, shares surge

Fusion: X-ray laser zaps solid to 2 million degrees

Android grabs more tablet market share: survey




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement