Chinese researchers study deep-sea life by in-situ experiments

Date:Jun 30, 2021    |  【 A  A  A 】

Chinese marine scientists aboard a scientific research vessel carried out in-situ experiments in the deep ocean to reveal the adaptation mechanisms of deep-sea life to extreme environments.

The Chinese scientific research vessel Kexue, or Science, returned to Qingdao in east China's Shandong Province recently after conducting sea trials with homegrown equipment, according to the Institute of Oceanology affiliated with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IOCAS) on Monday.

The IOCAS researcher Wang Minxiao said in previous experiments, deep-sea samples were sent to labs with altered physiological activities due to sudden changes in pressure, temperature and other chemical environments. Scientists were not able to accurately assess actual deep-sea life processes.

Supported by equipment on the research vessel, the IOCAS scientists built an underwater experimental platform on the deep seabed and conducted in-situ experiments, laying a solid basis for revealing the adaptation mechanism of deep-sea life in extreme environments.

In a probe mission, a deep-sea lander continuously detected multiple target objects such as cold seep vent fluid, natural gas hydrate and authigenic carbonate rocks near the vent for a long time. The preliminary results indicate that microorganisms connect with element transformation among the earth's deep lithosphere, hydrosphere near the bottom and dark biosphere.

The data and samples obtained from the experiments will help answer major questions such as the composition of the deep-sea food chain, deep-sea carbon sources and carbon-sink flux, and the origin of life.(

Photo taken in June, 2021 shows researchers of the Chinese research vessel Kexue (Science) conducting an experiment under the sea. (IOCAS/Handout via Xinhua)

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