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This interactive feature from the National Science Foundation introduces students to extremophiles, exotic organisms that live in places with conditions once thought to be uninhabitable. These include microbes that live in near-boiling water, high-acidity environments, or miles deep in rock. One part of the feature deals with 'radiation eaters,' microbes that were discovered in the rock of deep South African gold mines where they subsist on by-products that result when radioactive elements present in the rock break down water, prompting a sequence of reactions that forms sulfates. There is also a section on 'survivors' that describes some of the localities where extremophiles have been found, and some of the ways they adapt to live in those conditions.
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