Tullis Onstott Research Field Video #10: The Beatrix Au mine - Mike Pullin and Sarah Hendrickson pumping water
Tullis Onstott's research team, along with Gaetan Borgonie of the University of Ghent in Belgium, recently made a startling discovery: microscopic roundworms known as nematodes living nearly two-and-a-half miles beneath the Earth's surface in Beatrix Au mine, in the Free State Province of South Africa. Now known as "worms from hell" or simply "devil worm," these field expedition videos illustrate how difficult it is to extract specimens for research at depths of 1.3 kilometers. The videos were taken specifically at the site of the extracted worm's location led by mine geologist, Carl Rose.
Videos #9 and #10 show water from the borehole flowing through filters into huge columns. The videos feature Mike Pullin and Sarah Hendrickson of New Mexico Tech pumping water through 60 liter resin columns to capture the dissolved organic carbon for analysis.
This expedition extracted deep fracture water that will tell of what
bacteria are eating and expelling. It is the "devil worm" that eats the
bacteria creating a food chain. The goal of this trip was to obtain
samples of bacteria DNA and lipids, as well as, dissolved organic and
inorganic carbon for 14C dating. Obtaining a sample of DNA from the
"devil worm" for 14C dating was an added plus to the trip.
Videos courtesy of Gaetan Borgonie, University of Ghent.