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News Link • Biology, Botany and Zoology

Hints of Life in Deepest Scientific Marine Samples Ever Collected

•, By Jeffrey Marlow
The expedition resulted in a new world record for deepest scientific marine drilling to 2,440 meters beneath the seafloor. But were there signs of life so far down? Here, Trembath-Reichert offers some answers … or at least what pass for answers for a suitably cautious scientist….

Jeffrey Marlow: What was your daily work schedule like?

Elizabeth Trembath-Reichert: Life on board had different phases. Initially, there was a lot of preparation because we had a lot more time than we had expected before the first samples arrived on deck. The idea was that the scientists would get on board, the drill would be ready to go, and we would start drilling right away. But that didn’t end up happening, so there was a lot of opportunity to plan our experiments.

As soon as cores started coming up, the majority of my time was spent processing the samples. We would get a core, and our microbiology team would actually physically do the cutting and distribute different pieces to the various teams. Off-shift time, I would process my own personal experiments and help out with the cell counts. I worked a 12-hour shift, starting at midnight and ending at noon. 

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