A multidisciplinary team of scientists and divers from the Dominican Republic Espeleogical Society, a bacterium found so far "unknown", located in the depths of a cave east of the country (Dominican Republic). The bacteria is present in the Manantial del Toro, at a depth of 40 feet and is spread on the walls of the cave.
The team consisted of Professor Jennifer Macalady and his team of divers and Brian Kenny Broad Kakuko. Cristian also Pittaro, Dave Pratt, Robert Wurm, Victoria Alexandrova and Phillip Lehman, DRSS members who worked for seven days analyzing several caves in the eastern and Santo Domingo. The expedition was funded by the Astrobiology Institute of NASA and the DRSS.
Astrobiologist at the University of Pennsylvania, Jennifer Macalady, did a chemical analysis of water from different caves in the East and Santo Domingo, which has revealed that the cave of the Manantial del Toro is different from the others. "The chemical constituents of water are different from other caves analyzed. The Toro Spring water is not much oxygen on the surface and deep in oxygen is completely absent, "said Macalady, who has conducted several investigations with support from NASA.
The teacher said that the water is about 30% more salty than sea water and slightly acidic. It is still unknown what actually feeds the bacteria and what is its function within the cave. "The bacteria is small organisms that are complementary and takes the form of an alga. Has layers of different colors, according to the most prevalent chemical element, "said the expert.
Because it is not very common the absence of oxygen in the water, Macalady said it could be that inhabited a different animal species or other bacteria that feeds on it. However, these are only assumptions, and could not immediately determine the importance and role of this bacterium inside the cave. Macalady collected samples of bacteria and other agents that live in the Manantial del Toro, to make a rigorous analysis and so determine how special this bacterium and may be able to catalog it as a new species.
I'm going to take the DNA of the bacteria to compare with the results that have been performed earlier research agencies that are supposed to appear in a cave. Try to reproduce the bacteria through their genes and see which body is like, so I can find its source, "he said.
In his opinion, does not believe the bacteria is a harmful organism. The final step of the investigation, according Macalady is to prepare a report which published the research results through a science magazine of the United States. "According to the reaction that this may cause in the scientific community, it could create a more specialized equipment to further investigate this type of bacteria in the Dominican Republic," she added.
Also the American Kenny Broad, an anthropologist and diver, who has been in several cave diving expeditions in different continents and investigations of the magazine National Geographic. Brian Kakuko, one of the underwater cave explorers more recognized worldwide.
He has participated in several exploration and through Bahamas Bahamas Underground, has made many important studies on their caves. Broad and Brian Kenny Kakuko were in the August 2010 issue of National Geographic, where he published an article on the proposed Blue Holes.
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May 24, 2011