Journal Highlights

Bacteria found near abandoned mines could shed light on early Earth

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Acidified water draining from abandoned mines, studied primarily as a modern environmental hazard, may offer insight into the oxygenation of Earth’s early atmosphere and development of life on other planets, according to a new study.

Scientists studying abandoned coal mines in Kentucky found evidence for a bacterium capable of oxidizing iron in acidic runoff coming from these sites. These bacteria can survive in a range of conditions – from highly acidic to basic – and thrive on driving oxygen to react with iron and pyrite from rocks in the abandoned mines…more