Grow in the Dark: Bottom-dwelling bacterium survives on geothermal glow | Science News

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Grow in the Dark: Bottom-dwelling bacterium survives on geothermal glow

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12:26pm, June 22, 2005

A microbe discovered in the deepest, darkest reaches of the Pacific Ocean makes its living in an unlikely way—by photosynthesis. The newly described species, announced in the June 28 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, uses faint light emitted by deep-sea hydrothermal vents to power its metabolism.

A host of weird creatures lives at these vents, often called black smokers, where volcanically heated fluids gush from Earth's crust (SN: 11/24/01, p. 331: Available to subscribers at Tube worms like it hot, but larvae not). But the microbe, the only photosynthetic organism in nature known to use a light source other than sunlight, may be among

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