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  • Oil- and metal-munching microbes dominate deep sandstone formations

    Study leader Bruce Fouke conducts research on microbes in extreme environments. His work in Yellowstone offers a basis for interpreting new research on subterranean microbes.

    Study leader Bruce Fouke conducts research on microbes in extreme environments. His work in Yellowstone offers a basis for interpreting new research on subterranean microbes.

    Photo by Tom Murphy

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      Study leader Bruce Fouke conducts research on microbes in extreme environments. His work in Yellowstone offers a basis for interpreting new research on subterranean microbes.

      Photo by Tom Murphy

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      Halomonas bacteria are well-known for consuming the metal parts of the Titanic. Researchers now have found Halomonas in sandstone formations deep underground.

      Photo by NOAA

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      The researchers collected microbial samples more than a mile below the surface using a project well in Decatur, Ill.

      Photo by Jared Walker / Schlumberger

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  • To reach Bruce Fouke, call 217-244-5431; email fouke@illinois.edu. The paper, “Halomonas sulfidaeris-Dominated Microbial Community Inhabits a 1.8 km-Deep Subsurface Cambrian Sandstone Reservoir,” is available online or from the U. of I .News Bureau.