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MEDIA ADVISORY: “Extreme” microbes topic of next Saturday Morning Science

January 21st, 2012

Story Contact: MU News Bureau, 573-882-6211, munewsbureau@missouri.edu

WHAT: Plumes of black smoke, molten lava and super-heated water loaded with a lethal soup of noxious chemicals spew from fissures at the bottom of the world’s ocean. These hydrothermal vents are some of the most hostile and dangerous environments on Earth. An amazing array of organisms –some of which look straight out of a science fiction novel on alien life – call these vents home.

This Saturday, Anna-Louise Reysenbach, a biologist at Portland State University, will share her adventures diving down to hydrothermal vents to study how these organisms harness chemical energy to create and initiate a food web. In her talk “From there to here, from here to there, funny microbes are everywhere,” she also will show how microbes occupy almost any conceivable habitat where there is available water, energy and carbon for growth, even in the smallest quantity.

Saturday Morning Science lectures require no scientific background or knowledge to attend. The event is free and open to the public.

WHO: Anna-Louise Reysenbach is a professor of microbiology at Portland State University, member of the Space Studies Board for the National Research Council and the Task Group to Assess Mars Science and Mission Priorities, and subject editor for the Geobiology Journal.

WHEN & WHERE: 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 21
Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center
MU campus

NOTE: Bagels, donuts, juice and coffee will be served at 10 a.m. Seating is limited to 250.

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