In Photos: Sea Life Thrives at Otherworldly Hydrothermal Vent System
Vial of microbes
A vial of microbes brought up from the hydrothermal vent site. These microbes could hold biological secrets that could be used in biotechnology or medicine, Joye said. Their survival in extreme pressures and temperatures with only toxic compounds to eat could also help scientists understand how life first formed on early Earth, or how it might thrive on alien planets.
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Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science, covering topics ranging from geoscience to archaeology to the human brain and behavior. She was previously a senior writer for Live Science but is now a freelancer based in Denver, Colorado, and regularly contributes to Scientific American and The Monitor, the monthly magazine of the American Psychological Association. Stephanie received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz.