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A chemical reaction between iron-containing minerals and water may produce enough hydrogen “food” to sustain microbial communities living in pores and cracks within the enormous volume of rock below the ocean floor and parts of the continents, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder.
The findings, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, also hint at the possibility that hydrogen-dependent life could have existed where iron-rich igneous rocks on Mars were once in contact with water.
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