Skip to main content

Hazel Barton Discovers Important Bacteria in Underground Lakes




National Park Service scientists anchored by microbiologist Hazel Barton study a series of underground lakes, which were discovered in the 1960s and aren't home to any animal life or even easily detectable microscopic organisms in Wind Cave. However, Barton discovered scarce but highly important bacteria in the lakes. She's beginning to analyze about six years of data to understand the bacteria survives, answer questions about how it interacted before multicellular organisms came along, and find new sources of antibiotics. "It has the potential to answer a lot of questions that we have in biology that you can't answer anywhere else because you have levels of complexity," she said.

To gather the necessary samples, caving experience is crucial: It takes more than two hours for even the most adept cavers to reach Calcite Lake, the nearest body of water. "It's certainly not a route for the inexperienced," said park service scientist Marc Ohms. Because of its pristine nature, cavers and scientists have to take special precautions to make sure they don't contaminate Wind Cave lakes and surrounding areas. They don't bring crumble-prone foods, they eat over baggies, and they urinate into bottles. #ScienceWomen #ewls #speleology #WLeadership #womencavers

SOURCE
foxnews.com
Image 2: worldsciencefestival.com

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

QUOTE: Marie M. Daly

"Courage is like — it’s a habitus, a habit, a virtue: you get it by courageous acts. It’s like you learn to swim by swimming. You learn courage by couraging."

Marie M. Daly (1921–2003), Biochemist & the first African American woman in the US to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry. #ScienceWomen #WLeadership #ewls

QUOTE: Chien-Shiung Wu

"It is shameful that there are so few women in science... There is a misconception in America that women scientists are all dowdy spinsters. This is the fault of men. In Chinese society, a woman is valued for what she is, and men encourage her to accomplishments yet she remains eternally feminine."

Chien-Shiung Wu, Experimental Physicist who made significant contributions in the field of nuclear physics. #ScienceWomen #WLeadership #ewls

Carol Zokaites

Zokaites works at the Virgina Department Conservation & Recreation as an Education Coordinator. Her combined passions for caves and science education has led to 16 years of teaching about groundwater and the unique habitats found in karst terrain. With 40 years of caving experience Carol has surveyed miles of cave passage and participated in many bat hibernacula surveys. In 1993 she authored "Project Underground - A Natural Resource Guidebook" which offers insight and expert help for teaching children about caves (available at the NSS Bookstore). Besides this, she is a dedicated volunteer. She serves as the Karst Education Coordinator for Nature Serve, a non-profit organization of about 1,000 conservation professionals work to ensure that relevant and reliable science is driving important conservation action. She is also the Virginia Karst Education Coordinator of Project Underground a non-profit that serves economic and environmental justice by providing informational,…