News & AnalysisExtreme Ecosystems

Biological Dark Matter Exerts Irresistible Pull in Yunnan

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Science  02 Sep 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6047, pp. 1209
DOI: 10.1126/science.333.6047.1209

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The Rehai hot springs in Tengchong, a volcanic landscape in southwest China's Yunnan Province, are presumed to harbor hundreds of unknown organisms. DNA fragments betray the existence of these shadowy microbes, but the organisms have eluded capture or defied cultivation. Most of the genes seen so far are unrecognizable, researchers say. They hope the mysteries will yield under a 5-year study launched this summer.