Thursday, May 29, 2008

Exiles: The Rocks!

Oh, if Victor Hugo only knew. The ocean floor is teeming with microbial life.
While seafloor microbes have been detected before, this is the first time they have been quantified. Using genetic analysis, Edwards and colleagues found thousands of times more bacteria on the seafloor than in the water above.
... and ...
The scientists also found higher microbial diversity on the rocks compared with other vibrant systems, such as those found at hydrothermal vents.

Even compared with the microbial diversity of farm soil--viewed by many as the richest--diversity on the basalt is statistically equivalent.
Microbial diversity, which is one of my fields of work. The article should prove to be very interesting, and I'll blog on it once I get a chance to read it. Maybe tomorrow.

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