This National Geographic news article highlights research being done to study the Pompeii worm (Alvinella pompejana), the most heat tolerant complex organism on Earth, and its microscopic symbionts. Bacteria on the worms' backs act like firefighters' blankets, shielding the worms from intermittent blasts of hot, metal-rich water. Scientists are currently characterizing the chemistry of the vent environment by sequencing a large amount of DNA from the bacterial community—the metagenome. The page includes links to related National Geographic sites.
Subject: Biology:Ecology:Habitats:Marine, Biology:Ecology:Symbiotic Relations:Mutualism, Biology:Ecology:Habitats:Benthic, Biology:Molecular Biology, Microbiology:Methods of Microbiology :Molecular Methods, Biology:Microbiology Resource Type: Scientific Resources:Overview/Reference Work Grade Level: College Lower (13-14), General Public, High School (9-12), Middle (6-8) Extreme Environments: High Pressure, Extremely Hot Ocean Environments: Deep Sea Floor/Abyssal:Hydrothermal Systems Theme: Teach the Earth:Course Topics:EcologyKeywords: hydrothermal vent, DNA micro-array, Alvin, marine snow