The deep biosphere
Microorganisms have been found deep within the Earth and the majority of these microbes are in the marine subsurface. Research has shown many of these deeply buried microbes to be unlike the microbes in surface environments. Much more needs to be known about these organisms, including what they do and how they survive in such extreme conditions. We are working on developing better genomic tools for the study of the subsurface, in addition to continual efforts at cultivating new species.
Deep drill cores are facilitated by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, and are usually taken by the R/V Joides Resolution. The Biddle lab has participated in recent expeditions, including Expedtion 339 and Expedition 342, which is featured here: