Podcast Describes "Landmark" Discovery led by MBL's Emil Ruff

Barons, Alberta, Canada, one of the groundwater sampling sites for Ruff et al, Nature Communications, 2023. Photo courtesy of Emil Ruff

The startling and important discovery of microbes producing oxygen deep below the Earth's surface, in the absence of light, was reported by MBL's Emil Ruff and colleagues last summer in Nature Communications. Quanta Magazine was one of several media outlets to cover the study, which was recognized as  "a landmark ... We will be citing this study in the literature for years and years to come" by geochemist Barbara Sherwood Lollar of University of Toronto, who was not involved in the work.

Now, Quanta has released a podcast about the discovery and its implications, featuring the voices of Ruff and other microbial ecologists. Take a listen! Not only is it a brand new take on the chemistry of life in the Earth's gigantic, largely mysterious subsurface biome, it has implications for identifying life on other planets.

Source: Quanta Science Podcast: Underground Cells Make "Dark Oxygen" Without Light