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Planet-changing ‘invisible’ microbes on the deep sea floor

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“We’re making progress at a rate that’s outpacing the textbooks. We can’t write textbooks fast enough to cover all of the really fundamental discoveries that are happening in the field of microbial ecology right now…

Trying to understand how microbial communities work, and how individual microorganisms are interacting with each other to undergo these amazing metabolic feats, I think are really open-ended questions and have big implications, not only for understanding how the world works but also being able to interpret our own health and well-being. It certainly has implications for our potential searching for evidence of life or habitable worlds outside of Earth…”

Join geobiologist Victoria Orphan on the Atlantis research vessel off the coast of Costa Rica. She’s working with astrophysicist Rachel Smith, ecologist Erik Cordes, and a team of experts who are studying methane seep communities, including ‘invisible’ microbes, on the deepsea floor. This episode of Motherboard‘s series The Most Unknown documents their work.

microbial ecology alvin dsv
microbial ecology alvin dsv
microbial ecology alvin dsv
Plus, get an up-close look at the recently discovered Yeti crab (Kiwa hirsuta and Kiwa puravida), “a totally new family, unknown to science” that farms its own food, seep bacteria, on its claws. See them in action here:

Learn more about the DSV Alvin submersible.

Then watch more videos about bacteria, microbes, the deep sea, and women working in STEM fields.

h/t Laughing Squid.

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