Dec 31 2013
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The earth's oceans are much more complex than most people realize. And, new research shows that even under the sea floor, things are more interesting than you would think! The deep biosphere—a realm of sediments buried far below the seafloor—harbors diverse, thriving communities of life, according a new study by scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the University of Delaware (UD). The researchers analyzed messenger RNA (mRNA) from 16 to 522 feet deep below the seafloor off the coast of Peru in 2002. They found evidence of bacteria, archaea, and fungi actively metabolizing, proliferating, and moving. Their work was published June 12, 2013, in Nature.