Jagran Post

jagran Post
post.jagran.com

Diverse life beneath Earth being catalogued

Publish Date: 30 Dec 2013, 01:25 PM
Last Updated: 30 Dec 2013, 01:25 PM
quick bites

New York: There is life below our Earth's surface - in an atmosphere with no light or air, and now it is being catalogued. The deepest life found to date is bacteria living 3.2 km below the surface in South African gold mines. In 2011, scientists found worms that live underground and eat those bacteria.

Representational picture
Representational picture

Scientists have now embarked on a census to catalogue the life buried beneath the earth's surface - to help them understand the origins of life on earth or reveal life that could survive on other planets.

To unlock the mystery, Sharon Grim of Marine Biological Laboratory in Massachusetts, and Rick Colwell, a microbiologist at Oregon State University, began analyzing genetic data from all the underground archaea and bacteria they can, including a key identifying set of genes.

"Though the results are still early, they are finding that the life at that depth is incredibly diverse," Colwell said.

"We have found one type of archaea in about a third of their samples from all over the world, and in all the archaeal communities sequenced. It may be a keystone species that needs to be present for such primitive organisms to thrive," Colwell added in a report that appeared in LiveScience.

"The dark-dwellers reproduce only every few months or years and have slow metabolisms, with some organisms moving the equivalent of just a few electrons per second," Jens Kallmeyer, a geochemist at the University of Potsdam in Germany, was quoted as saying.

"We cannot understand how an organism can possibly survive on that little energy," Kallmeyer added. Since these creatures are living with strange and scarce energy sources, little to no water and scorching heat, the research can throw a great insight about life on other planets.

(Agencies)

Latest News from Lifestyle News Desk

 

For Latest News Updates Follow Jagran Post on

SHARE YOUR VIEWS - POST YOUR COMMENT BELOW
We encourage you to log in and comment. Non-logged-in comments will go through a verification process for security reasons.

Characters remaining


Login/Comment with:ORPost your comment using security code
Name*
E-mail*
Word Verification:*
  Type the characters you see in the picture below