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J. Harry Caufield

Glud, R. N., Wenzhöfer, F., Middelboe, M., Oguri, K., Turnewitsch, R., Canfield, D. E., & Kitazato, H. (2013). High rates of microbial carbon turnover in sediments in the deepest oceanic trench on Earth. Nature Geoscience, advance on. Nature Publishing Group. doi:10.1038/ngeo1773.

This is a small letter about Challenger Deep, the deepest point in Earth's oceans. Located within the southern extent of the Mariana Trench, this spot is nearly 11,000 meters deep. It's pretty chilly down there - about 2.5 degrees C - but more importantly it's under extremely high pressure. Wikipedia tells me it's more than 16,000 psi or about 1,099 times surface pressure. This doesn't stop bacterial growth: Glud et al. found that two sediment samples from this deep spot contained, on average, nearly 107 prokaryotic cells per cubic centimeter. Shallower sites nearby were also dense with microbial life but not nearly as rich as the Challenger Deep samples. 

Glud et al. suggest that deep-sea trenches like the Mariana may serve to naturally funnel fresh sediment downward, providing essential nutrients for microbial growth at extreme depths. Further analysis of these deep-sea microbes could show how they've adapted to such specialized metabolic demands.