DCO Collaborator Esta Van Heerden Studies Extreme Organisms in South African Mines

Initial results and implications of Esta Van Heerden's work are discussed in a recent article in Engineering News.

Esta Van HeerdenEsta Van Heerden, University of the Free State in South Africa, is a collaborator on two current DCO projects, one funded by the Deep Energy Community and the second funded by the Deep Life Directorate. Initial results and implications of her work are discussed in a recent article in Engineering News titled, "Study of extreme organisms in SA mines may hold answers to extraterrestrial life, pollution threats."

Van Heerden and her DCO Collaborators were brought together in January 2011 by the DCO-sponsored Carbon Cycling in the Deep Crustal Biosphere Workshop. Also featured in the recent article is the species Halicephalobus mephisto, a Nematode first discovered 1.3 km below ground in borehole water from the Beatrix gold mine. The discovery of H. mephisto and its expansion of the known biosphere were highlighted in the June 2011 DCO Newsletter.

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