Living under pressure: Lessons from the cradle of life

Deep sea alkaline hydrothermal vents have been theorized to be a place where life could have originated. The elevated temperature, alkaline pH, and unique vent action concentrate minerals and create local energetic gradients ...

Deep-sea bacteria copy their neighbors' diet

In the deep sea, far away from the light of the sun, organisms use chemical energy to fix carbon. At hydrothermal vents—where hot, mineral-rich water gushes out of towering chimneys called black smokers—vibrant ecosystems ...

Origin of massive methane reservoir identified

New research from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) published Aug. 19, 2019, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science provides evidence of the formation and abundance of abiotic methane—methane formed ...

Barnacles explain life at the extreme

Barnacles—a type of marine crustacean—are highly adaptable animals. Unlike many other groups that prefer quieter waters, they like areas with a lot of activity, are hardy against dry spells that sometimes occur in tidal ...

Chemistry of seabed's hot vents could explain emergence of life

Hot vents on the seabed could have spontaneously produced the organic molecules necessary for life, according to new research by UCL chemists. The study shows how the surfaces of mineral particles inside hydrothermal vents ...

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