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
The most common species are in decline, both in terms of area covered and the diversity of species.
Seagrasses are plants that grow in the ocean and marine habitats are important.
They create huge underwater meadows and flowering plants evolved from land that remained under water millions of years ago.
These habitats serve as nurseries for young fish and shellfish, and are the main food source for marine mammals such as manatees and dugongs, as well as reptiles like sea turtles.
They also help keep other ecosystems such as coral reefs, mangroves, wetlands, marine and marine barriers formed by oysters.
It has long been known that seagrasses were in decline in many parts of the world, but this is the first time you perform an investigation that covers different parts of the world.
Professor Frederick Short, an expert from the University of Hampshire, in Durham, U.S. led an international team that compiled all the case studies on seagrass beds at specific points in the world.
Keep reading ate: Seagrass Meadows are Disappearing Worldwide
May 23, 2011
Each year, the moon of Jupiter ejected about 100 times more lava to the surface of the Earth's volcanoes.
A new evaluation of data from the NASA Galileo probe suggests that all this activity is being fueled by a huge ocean of magma beneath the crust of Io.
Researchers reported in the journal Science that this reservoir is extremely hot, probably about 50 kilometers thick.
And that figure is only a minimum. It could be much thicker, said the study's lead author, Krishan Khurana, who is affiliated with the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at UCLA in the U.S..
"When scientists began to look to observe the images of Io from Pioneer and Voyager spacecraft in the 70's, the moon looked very strange," he told the BBC.
"Immediately, the scientists wondered many things and one of the questions was: 'Why volcanoes are present throughout the area?" Well, it's because there is a giant aquifer magma just under the bark. That's what our study is telling us. "
Io's volcanic activity is determined by its parent planet, Jupiter. The huge mass of huge gas planet causes the moon tides that push and pull his body, causing the melting of the rocks.
However, the distribution of the volcanoes of Io is very different from Earth. They are everywhere, while in Earth's volcanoes tend to be within the boundaries of tectonic plates, huge slabs of cold rock that cover the surface of our planet.
The magnetometer readings from NASA's Galileo probe showed that the moon was dramatically distort the magnetic field of Jupiter, but still was not clear what was happening within Io to produce that effect.
After several years of work on the problem and identify the solution, the scientists concluded that it all comes down to the nature of the rock on the moon and how it behaves when it melts.
"Data were available for about seven or eight years. However, at that time could not explain what we were seeing," said Khurana.
"Further experiments in physics of minerals found that when ultramafic rocks, which are rich in magnesium and iron melt, its conductivity is triggered by orders of magnitude. And it is the high conductivity that can create the kind of 'fingerprint 'we've seen. Therefore, physics of minerals needed to update our data, "he added.
The tests showed that the tracks detected by Galileo are consistent with a rock as the lherzolites, an igneous rock rich in magnesium and iron silicates. This type of rock can be found, for example in Scandinavia.
Io was then presented as a world that resembles a much larger body size.
Its magma ocean layer is at least 50 kilometers thick, and probably represents at least 10% of the lunar mantle by volume. Its temperature probably exceeds the 1,200 C º.
This aquifer lies beneath the crust, about 50 kilometers deep. The mantle - the middle layer inside the moon, probably extends from 700 to 800 kilometers. What about downtown? Gravity measurements suggest that iron and possibly liquids - much like Earth.
"The moon in size is only about one-fortieth the size of the Earth, mass is only one sixtieth" said Khurana.
"And yet because of the enormous amount of heat generated by the tides that Jupiter rises in the small moon, its internal structure is very similar to Earth or a planet is much larger than tectonic in it," he said.