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Press Release 13-078

'Dark Oxidants' Form Away from Sunlight in Lake and Ocean Depths, Underground Soils

New findings overturn understanding of light-dependent environmental oxidants

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Image of lake with vegetation and a bridge Elkhorn Slough, Calif.

Superoxide-producing bacteria live in dark places like the depths of Elkhorn Slough, Calif.

Credit: Scott Wankel, WHOI


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colonies of superoxide-producing bacteria growing on laboratory plates with dye

Dyes are added to colonies of superoxide-producing bacteria growing on laboratory plates.

Credit: Tong Zhang, WHOI


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Bacteria that make superoxide are grown in flasks filled with seawater

Bacteria that make superoxide are grown in flasks filled with seawater from ocean depths.

Credit: Julia Diaz, WHOI


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Laboratory instruments measuring bacteria-produced superoxidants

Superoxide produced by millions of bacteria is measured by laboratory instruments.

Credit: Julia Diaz, WHOI


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Close-up image of a colony of bacteria shows a dye that that binds only to oxidants.

Close-up image of a colony of bacteria shows a dye that that binds only to oxidants.

Credit: Tong Zhang, WHOI


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cover of Science magazine

The researchers' results are described in the May 3rd issue of the journal Science.

Credit: Copyright AAAS 2013


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