Microbes on Earth’s seafloor may aid the search for alien life

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Microorganisms living on a large slab of ancient seafloor in the Persian Gulf may reveal clues about life on other planets, according to a new study. 

Researchers from Arizona State University studied an area called the Samail Ophiolite, located off the coast of Oman. This large slab of oceanic crust is made of volcanic rocks and ultramafic rocks from Earth‘s upper mantle. These rocks exhibit a unique geological process called serpentinization, whereby water reacts with the rocks to create hydrogen gas that is oxidized by microorganisms. 

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Originally published at www.space.com

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