Microbial Life Breathes Deep

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Science  24 Dec 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5705, pp. 2198-2200
DOI: 10.1126/science.1107241

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It may not seem like a hospitable habitat, but deep within the sediments of the ocean floor reside thriving communities of microbes. In his Perspective, DeLong discusses a new study of sediment cores from the equatorial Pacific Ocean ( D'Hondt et al.) that reveals surprising facts about the microbes living in this environment and the contribution of their metabolic activities to the ocean's energy cycle.