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31 July 2017
Bacteria found near abandoned mines could shed light on early Earth
Acidified water draining from abandoned mines, studied primarily as a modern environmental hazard, may offer insight into the oxygenation of Earth’s early atmosphere and development of life on other planets, according to a new study.
15 December 2015
Cold reaction has hot implications for evolution of life
When carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas mingle deep underground, they transform into methane and water—the building blocks of life.
Scientists once thought the reaction, called Sabatier synthesis, could only proceed above 150 degrees Celsius. Life, they thought, was conceived deep in the scalding vents of an ancient ocean. But the Sabatier process also runs cooler, finds a new study presented at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting. With the right catalyst, the reaction works at room temperature, the study found.
4 December 2012
Hydrofracturing brings out the tough bugs
Opponents of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” often voice concerns about chemicals leaking into the groundwater supply and making people sick. But what about the microbes that call fracturing fluid their home?