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Mud volcanoes deliver new clue to life beneath ocean floor

A team of scientists, including Dr Ivan Savov from the University of Leeds, have confirmed the presence of organic matter in rock fragments brought up to the seafloor from as deep as 10 km within the Earth's mantle - tripling the previously estimated depth limit for life.
The rock fragments were discovered by Dr Savov as part of a deep sea drilling expedition near the deepest place on the planet - the Challenger Deep in the Pacific Ocean.

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No limit to life in deep sediment of ocean's "deadest" region

Scientists have found oxygen and oxygen-breathing microbes all the way through the sediment from the seafloor to the igneous basement at seven sites in the South Pacific gyre, considered the "deadest" location in the ocean.
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Deep microbes live long and slow

A diverse range of life forms exists deep below Earth's surface, scientists have concluded, but they live at an incredibly slow pace.
Long-lived bacteria, reproducing only once every 10,000 years, have been found in rocks 2.5km (1.5 miles) below the ocean floor that are as much as 100 million years old.

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The search for North Sea oil and gas has opened up a deeper understanding of the likelihood of life on other planets. Scientists at Aberdeen University have found an ideal habitat for microbes lurking between layers of sand and mud beneath the Earths surface.
The conditions have long been suspected, but have only now been confirmed thanks to a collaboration between academics and the industry.

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Life found deep under the sea

For the first time, scientists have discovered microbes living deep inside Earth's oceanic crust - the dark volcanic rock at the bottom of the sea. This crust is several kilometres thick and covers 60% of the planet's surface, making it the largest habitat on Earth.
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Third of Earth's organisms live in rocks, sediments

A third of the Earth's organisms live in our planet's rocks and sediments - and the amount could even be greater undersea than what we find on the surface, scientists say.
Microbiologist James Holden of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and his colleagues revealed the first detailed data on methane-exhaling microbes that live deep in the rocks and sediment.

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Subterranean Life
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  Impacts Could be Boon for Subterranean Life

An incoming asteroid is trouble whether you're a dinosaur or a Bruce Willis fan. But microbes living deep underground may actually welcome the news, according to a recent study of an ancient impact in the Chesapeake Bay. A biological census of the subsurface life forms suggests that impacts create new niches for these deep dwellers to spread into.
In the last couple of decades, biologists have come to realise that the biosphere doesn't stop at the surface. A large fraction of the Earth's biomass is lurking down below. Several drilling projects have brought up evidence of hearty little microbes thriving in deep rock sediments. Some eat organic scraps that seep down from our world, while others derive energy through chemical reactions with iron and sulfur.
Although it's hardly paradise, this netherworld has one thing going for it: it's fairly peaceful. There's no night or day, no winter or summer. No global warming or ice ages to worry about. Only the occasional earthquake or giant space rock is really going to shake things up.

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Underground oasis found below Earth's driest desert

A thriving community of micro-organisms nestles two metres below the surface of the ultra-arid Atacama desert in Chile. The discovery, made as part of a dry run for a potential robotic Mars mission, suggests microbes could find a toehold on the Red Planet - but that rovers may have to dig deep to find them.
The Atacama desert, the most parched place on the planet, has long been considered a good Earthly analogue for Mars. The region gets rain only a few times a century, and the soil is full of salts similar to those found on the Red Planet.

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Earth's Carbon Cycle
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Diamonds Show Depth of Earth's Carbon Cycle

Scientists have speculated for some time that the Earth's carbon cycle extends deep into the planet's interior, but until now there has been no direct evidence. The mantle - Earth's thickest layer - is largely inaccessible. A team of researchers analysed diamonds that originated from the lower mantle at depths of 700 kilometres or more, and erupted to the surface in volcanic rocks called kimberlites. The diamonds contain what are impurities to the gemologist, but are known as mineral inclusions to the geologist. Analysis shows compositions consistent with the mineralogy of oceanic crust. This finding is the first direct evidence that slabs of oceanic crust sank or subducted into the lower mantle and that material, including carbon, is cycled between Earth's surface and depths of hundreds of miles.
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Deep Carbon
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Tackling mysteries about carbon, possible oil formation and more deep inside Earth

How do diamonds the size of potatoes shoot up at 40 miles per hour from their birthplace 100 miles below Earth's surface? Does a secret realm of life exist inside the Earth? Is there more oil and natural gas than anyone dreams, with oil forming not from the remains of ancient fossilized plants and animals near the surface, but naturally deep, deep down there? Can the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, be transformed into a pure solid mineral?
Those are among the mysteries being tackled in a real-life version of the science fiction classic, A Journey to the Center of the Earth, that was among the topics of a presentation here today at the 242nd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

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