How Many Microbes Fit in one of Loihi's
Looking at the mat on top of the
experiment some of the scientist began to contemplate the number of
microbes in the mat that had formed on the top. We estimated there are
more microbes in the mat on top of the microbe trap, than people
living in the United States. An estimate shows us that 10,000,000 times more microbes
live at Loihi than people on this Earth.
Read this story by
Post-Doc Emily Fleming ...
Q/A Based on Skype Sessions with Sehome High School Biology Classes
Mr. Shawn Doan, science teacher at Sehome High School in Bellingham (Washington), gives answers to a selection of questions asked by his students during a number of
Skype video conferences between him on the R/V Thompson and his students on land.
Read this contribution by
Shawn Doan ...
Colonization of Microbial Mats by Different Types of Chemosynthetic Bacteria
Colonizing bacteria are able to gain their energy from inorganic compounds, making them what we call chemotrophs. As these compounds are derived from geologic sources (rocks) we also call them lithotrophs,
and because they are able to make their own organic carbon compounds from carbon dioxide, we also call them autotrophs. Since chemo-litho-autotrophs is a pretty long name, we
refer to these bacteria as chemosynthetic instead.
Read further in this report by Chief Scientist Craig Moyer ...
Deep Sea Volcanic Gases
What is a geochemist like me doing on a ship with a whole bunch of biologists? And why would a geochemist be interested in lava flows on the ocean floor? And why Loihi?
Find out in this report by Mark
Orders of Magnitudes and Banded Iron
The iron that makes our research
vessel the R/V Thompson is made of, may have, at one time, been food for bacteria like the ones we are hunting today at Loihi.
Follow Dr. Emerson's pondering about the scale of bacteria and life,
the formation of banded iron sediments and the role of Iron-oxide
bacteria in all this.
Read this report by Dave Emerson
Deep Sea Bacteria Spin Rust and Eat Nails for a Living
The microbial mats at Loihi can be thought of as a giant fabric woven together by the microorganisms that grow there. It is the bacteria that are responsible for spinning the iron oxides into the filaments or threads that create the larger mat fabric. What is remarkable is that this ‘yarn’ is composed mainly of rust, which is what most of us think of when we see oxidized iron. So far, we have only identified one bacterium that is involved in forming the helical twisted filaments or stalks.
But what are the tubular and Y-shaped structures? Read this
report by Dave Emerson ...