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Organisms living on iron pyrites and sulphur

Scientific discovery and discussion
ReformedCharacter
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Organisms living on iron pyrites and sulphur

#250603

Postby ReformedCharacter » September 9th, 2019, 8:24 pm

Sulphur-breathing creatures that feed on fool’s gold in caves have been found thousands of feet below the earth’s surface - a discovery which scientists say has the potential to unlock the secrets of how life began on earth and how it might survive on other planets.


https://www.independent.co.uk/news/scie ... 97341.html

RC

stevensfo
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Re: Organisms living on iron pyrites and sulphur

#252587

Postby stevensfo » September 18th, 2019, 8:25 pm

ReformedCharacter wrote:
Sulphur-breathing creatures that feed on fool’s gold in caves have been found thousands of feet below the earth’s surface - a discovery which scientists say has the potential to unlock the secrets of how life began on earth and how it might survive on other planets.


https://www.independent.co.uk/news/scie ... 97341.html

RC


Great link, thanks. Though it's not exactly new. I think I learned about thermophile and anaerobic bacteria way back in 1979 in A-level Biology. Miles below the sea bed where water at 200'C is still liquid due to the pressure, and life goes on. They don't need oxygen, merely a few chemicals that can be used as an electron gradient to catalyse the reactions that they use to grow. There were some great Open Uni programmes about this in the early 1980s.

What is does do, as many Sci-Fi writers pointed out over the last 100 years or so, is to extend our ideas of where life can exist.

I vaguely remember a short Sci-Fi story about intelligent life living in liquid methane, arguing that life could not exist above about -100'C.

The real problem is to find intelligent life. Cos there isn't any on Earth! :-)

Steve

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Re: Organisms living on iron pyrites and sulphur

#254802

Postby DiamondEcho » September 29th, 2019, 8:49 pm

Following on from^
Sea-life round hydro-thermal vents, thriving in conditions where 'no life should be possible'... https://ocean.si.edu/ocean-life/inverte ... -creatures


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