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Life Is Tough, Especially for Microbes

The list of ways for life to make a living keeps getting longer. There are the obvious: like turning light into chemical energy like plants do. Or eating plants like many animals do.

Then there are more specialist methods: for example, pairing the hydrogen produced by radioactive decay with sulfate formed by geological processes to grow a mile and a half beneath the planet's surface.

Now add one more to that list. A newly discovered life form lives in deep, boiling hot water near hydrothermal vents in the ocean. On formate. That's what's left when formic acid loses a hydrogen ion.
 
 

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