HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Hydrothermal vent systems could have persisted millions of years, incubated life

The staying power of seafloor hydrothermal vent systems like the bizarre Lost City vent field is one reason they also may have been incubators of Earth's earliest life, scientists report in a paper published in the July 25 issue of Science.

Discovered just 2 years ago during a National Science Foundation-funded expedition in the mid-Atlantic Ocean, Lost City has the tallest vents ever seen the 18-story behemoth at the site dwarfs most vents elsewhere by at least 100 feet. Water is circulated through the vent field by heat from serpentinization, a chemical reaction between seawater and the mantle rock on which Lost City sits, rather than by heat from volcanic activity or magma, responsible for driving hydrothermal venting at sites scientists have been studying since the early 1970s.

If hydrothermal venting can occur without volcanism, it greatly increases the places on the seafloor of early Earth where microbial life could have started. It also means explorers may have more places than previously thought to look for microbial life in the universe.

Although the Lost City vent field is a youthful 30,000 years old, Lost City-type systems might be able to persist hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of years, says lead author Gretchen Frh-Green of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and co-authors from the University of Washington, Duke University and National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration. One can imagine how such stable, long-lived systems pumping out heat, minerals and organic compounds for millennia might improve the chances for life to spark and to be sustained until it could take hold, say these scientists.

"It's difficult to know if life might have started as a result of one or both kinds of venting," says Deborah Kelley, University of Washington oceanographer, "but chances are good that these systems were involved in sustaining life on and within the seafloor very early in Earth's history."

As far as longevity an
'"/>

Contact: Sandra Hines
shines@u.washington.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington
24-Jul-2003


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. New study to investigate demise of coral reef ecosystems
2. All ecosystems are equally productive under drought conditions
3. Biological oceanographers examine regime shifts in complex marine ecosystems
4. Freeing Nemo: Aquarium owners releasing non-native fish could endanger marine ecosystems
5. Worlds first databank for all living systems
6. Faster carbon turnover in basal food-chain levels in aquatic than terrestrial ecosystems
7. New systems biology center positions UT Southwestern in vanguard of scientific research
8. URI oceanographer awarded NSF grant to study function of jellyfish in coastal ecosystems
9. Advanced sensors, computing systems tracking sea animals worldwide
10. Out-of-balance ecosystems play role in demise of amphibian populations
11. EGFR: A molecular lab rat let loose in systems biology

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


(Date:8/15/2017)... 15 2017   ivWatch LLC , a medical device company ... today announced receipt of its ISO 13485 Certification, the global standard ... Organization for Standardization (ISO®). ... Model 400 Continuous Monitoring device for the early detection of IV ... "This is an important milestone for ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... , May 23, 2017  Hunova, the first robotic gym for the ... been officially launched in Genoa, Italy . The first ... and the USA . The technology was developed ... market by the IIT spin-off Movendo Technology thanks to a 10 million ... News Release, please click: ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... , April 19, 2017 ... its vendor landscape is marked by the presence of ... is however held by five major players - 3M ... these companies accounted for nearly 61% of the global ... leading companies in the global military biometrics market boast ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... , ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... Center’s FirstHand program has won a US2020 STEM Mentoring Award. Representatives of the ... for Excellence in Volunteer Experience from US2020. , US2020’s mission is to change ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... optimization firm for the life sciences and healthcare industries, announces a presentation by ... Francisco. , The presentation, “Automating GxP Validation for Agile Cloud Platforms,” will present ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... N.C. (PRWEB) , ... October 09, 2017 , ... At ... announced Dr. Christopher Stubbs, a professor in Harvard University’s Departments of Physics and Astronomy, ... Stubbs was a member of the winning team for the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... genomic technologies, launched its ProxiMeta™ Hi-C metagenome deconvolution product, featuring the first ... accompanying cloud-based bioinformatics software to perform Hi-C metagenome deconvolution using their own ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: