Hungry for Hydrogen: Microbes in hot springs feed on unlikely source

10:29am, January 26, 2005

Visitors to Yellowstone National Park's geothermal springs are struck as much by the stench as by the landscape. The sulfur compounds emanating from the springs bear a rotten-egg odor, and they have long been regarded as a major source of energy for the springs' rich community of microorganisms. New research, however, suggests this positive spin on sulfur may be overblown. Most microorganisms in the springs seem to live off hydrogen, scientists report.

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