Microbes of the Deep Sea Survive on Byproducts of the Radioactive Process | NSF

Microbes of the Deep Sea Survive on Byproducts of the Radioactive Process |  NSF

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Microbes deep beneath the seabed survive on the byproducts of the radioactive process

Findings have implications for life on Mars

Pictured: Marine sediment samples used in the irradiation experiments.

March 1, 2021

Microbes in sediment under the seabed are primarily fueled by chemicals created by the natural irradiation of water molecules, report researchers funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation at the University of Rhode Island and their researchers. collaborators.

The team found that the creation of these chemicals is amplified by minerals in marine sediments. Contrary to the idea that life in sediment is fueled by the products of photosynthesis, an ecosystem fueled by irradiated water begins a few feet below the seabed in much of the open ocean. This radiation-fueled world is one of the largest on Earth …

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