University of Southern California

Research

Life in the Subsurface

Researchers at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences have embarked on a five-year project to look for microorganisms hundreds of meters below the surface — in deep mineshafts, boreholes and other sites — as part of the search for the limits of life on Earth and the presence of life on other planets. “Microorganisms are much more resilient than we used to think, and that has opened us up to thinking about life in the ‘subsurface biosphere’,” said Jan Amend, USC Dornsife professor of earth sciences and biological sciences. “If we’re not limited by sunlight or if we’re not limited by the temperatures we see on surface, we can keep expanding our view of the biosphere on Earth and even on other planets.” – See more at: https://news.usc.edu/#!/article/53779/life-in-the-subsurface/