Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mysterious single-celled organisms discovered six miles below surface

Scientists announced Tuesday that they have discovered a mysterious single-celled organism living nearly six miles below the surface of the ocean.

The team documented the deepest known existence of xenophyophores, single-celled animals exclusively found in deep-sea environments. The organism are known for their size, with individual cells often exceeding 4 inches, their extreme abundance on the seafloor and their role as hosts for a variety of organisms. Recent studies suggest that by trapping particles from the water, xenophyophores can concentrate high levels of lead, uranium and mercury, which means they are likely resistant to massive amounts of heavy metal.


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