HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Chemical Reaction Believed To Support Underground Microbes Is Now Unlikely

Findings Could Have Implications For Life On Mars And Other Planets

A critical chemical reaction previously thought to support microbial life deep below Earth's surface, and possibly on Mars, is in fact highly unlikely. The findings are reported in this week's issue of the journal Science by researchers funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF)'s Life in Extreme Environments (LeXeN) program and affiliated with the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (U. Mass.).

"This is an important step forward in our continuing efforts to understand the processes that sustain life deep beneath the earth's surface," says Mike Purdy, director of NSF's LeXeN program. "Negative findings like this are as important as positive ones in their importance to our understanding of the processes that determine the limits to life."

It had been generally accepted by scientists that hydrogen gas produced from rock could provide energy to support the growth of microorganisms living below Earth's surface, says U. Mass. microbiologist Derek Lovley. The hydrogen was thought to be produced when basalt, a common form of rock, reacts with water.

However, a research team led by Lovley has found that this concept is incorrect. Although hydrogen gas can be produced from basalt under artificial laboratory conditions, there is no hydrogen production under the conditions actually found in Earth's subsurface.

Lovley and his colleagues found that hydrogen could only be produced from the basalt when the rock was exposed to acidic conditions -- but environments containing basalt are never acidic.

"The idea that hydrogen produced from rocks could support large subsurface microbial ecosystems on Earth and possibly other planets was fascinating and was accepted by most microbiologists," Lovley says. "Unfortunately, this concept can not be supported by the available data."

From analyses of che
'"/>

Contact: Cheryl Dybas
cdybas@nsf.gov
(703) 306-1070
National Science Foundation
13-Aug-1998


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Chemical engineering grad students will take notable national awards
2. Chemical derived from vitamin-E shows early promise as cancer drug
3. Chemical genetics identifies SARS inhibitors
4. Chemical signals health of brain cells Symposium
5. Highlights of American Chemical Society national meeting in Philadelphia, Aug. 22-26
6. Chemical engineers discover filtration system to help biotech industry
7. NIH roadmap for biomedical research focus of chemists at American Chemical Society meeting
8. American Chemical Society media registration
9. Chemical Society announces EPA awards for environmentally friendly technology
10. NIH launches first center in Nationwide Chemical Genomics Network
11. Chemical reaction in birds provides sense of direction during migratory flights

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/4/2019)... ... June 04, 2019 , ... Lajollacooks4u is delighted to announce it ... which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to businesses that have achieved consistently outstanding ... consecutive years. , To qualify for the Certificate of Excellence –- an ...
(Date:6/1/2019)... ... May 31, 2019 , ... The University ... recently invested in BioFactura’s $6M Series B Financing Round. , “With the ... investors who bring significant financial and business resources to bear as we advance ...
(Date:5/31/2019)... ... May 30, 2019 , ... Researchers from Ambry ... documented significant differences in the prevalence of hereditary genetic mutations, also called germline ... White women. Results will be presented at the 2019 American Society of Clinical ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/31/2019)... California (PRWEB) , ... May ... ... of our patent applications from the USPTO providing proprietary interest to our ... METHOD FOR SLEEP DISORDER DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT… extends Somnology’s IP rights including ...
(Date:5/22/2019)... ... 2019 , ... Artemis (formerly Agrilyst), the leading enterprise Cultivation Management ... co-led by Astanor Ventures and Talis Capital with participation from ... Fund . The company has raised $11.75m to date and will use the new ...
(Date:5/14/2019)... ... May 13, 2019 , ... ... testing instruments for the Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, Medical Device and Food Packaging Industries’ is ... redesigned website aims to improve LDA’s ability to communicate directly with the marketplace; ...
(Date:5/4/2019)... Brazil (PRWEB) , ... May 03, 2019 , ... ... given by the President of the Dakila Pesquisas Association, the scientist and ufologist ... Councilmen 2019, in Brasília (DF). Urandir detailed the results of some research carried ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: