We know a lot about microbes already. We know that they produced almost all of the world's free oxygen so that later, complex organism could evolve. They help us digest our food. They break down waste products. But there's still a lot we don't understand about microbes.

    We can see nutrients going into this ecosystem dominated by microbes, and we can see other nutrients come out, but what happens in between? Who is sharing iron? How does sulfur get from point A to point B? What factors limit their productivity?

    Scientists gather samples through the ice.
    Rachael and Brad use a camera in the drill hole.

    Microbes need buddies. One kind of microbe uses a lot of one nutrient, but then their waste products become food for someone else. What factors makes each kind of microbe more or less productive? Is it their genes? Is it environmental factors like amount of light, or amount of salt?

    Rochelle Periera in the lab.
    Rochelle Periera in the lab.

    If we can understand these relationships, we can apply this knowledge to more complex ecosystems in the world. In other places, things get complicated quickly with multicellular plants and animals and pesky things like the water cycle. Here, its just the microbes, sealed off from the world by 3+ meters of ice, hanging out with their buddies.

    Author
    Date
    Location
    Lake Bonney
    Weather Summary
    Sunny, windy
    Temperature
    10°F
    Wind Chill
    -7°F

    Comments

    Sophie P1

    Looks like you're having fun. When will you be back?

    Lucy Coleman

    Sophie and company-

    I'll be back in mid-December. I look forward to seeing you then!

    DJ Catalano Period 1

    I think all of the facts that you listed about microbes are very interesting.

    Elisabeth Mendoza

    Glad you are having fun! Hope you are keeping warm with the chilly weather.

    Gabe

    HI ms coleman. how is antarctica. it is so cool.

    ms coleman

    it is so cold here thanks

    Ashtyn V.

    Hopefully you are staying warm in that weather.

    Braylon

    What's the coldest it's been so far?

    Madison L

    Microbes sound like interesting organisms to investigate! The questions you have are questions I hope your team has enough time to answer so that we can learn more about the microbes in the lakes too. How has the drill been working since it got stuck? Is your team going to try other ways to get into the lake?

    Karina C

    I'm excited to learn about what the microbes do and how they form. How are you planning to find out how the sulfur gets from point a to point b?

    Lucy Coleman

    Karina-

    It's pretty neat: we put a little chemical flag on the sulfur and then watch where it goes. We won't start that experiment for another week or so, but I'll show you then.

    Riley Conway

    Your trip looks really fun! Have you seen any animals yet?

    Olivia H p2

    Microbes seem very fascinating to learn about! I wonder if you will find any new information about it.

    Brynn H

    I think it's interesting how we don't know much about microbes after studying them for so long. How has the weather been?

    Lily Q

    Is Beaker helping you with the research?

    Ethan Bagwill

    What's the coldest it's been so far?

    Beaudrick waage

    Looks like you're having a lot of fun, can't wait to hear about all your adventures and stuff you had!!

    Fox

    cool, I hope you are having fun

    Dylan A

    Microbes sound like interesting organisms to investigate. The questions you have are questions I hope your team has enough time to answer so that we can learn more about the microbes in the lakes too. How has the drill been working since it got stuck? Is your team going to try other ways to get into the lake? I'm excited to learn about what the microbes do and how they form.

    Lucy Coleman

    Check out the science movie I made to see how we're dealing with things freezing too fast!

    Adelynn

    What's the coldest it's been so far?

    Ella Sheppard

    Ms. Coleman I hope you are having a safe and a warm time there with the cold weather and I hope you learn a lot about living life at Antarctica. What will you be eating on Thanksgiving? Are you having a nice Thanksgiving dinner or just a regular dinner? Anyways, I hope to see you soon and that you will teach us more about your icey adventure when you get back!

    Lucy Coleman

    Ella- We will have Thanksgiving! We are going to hike to another camp and celebrate with the people who are working there. I'll show you here on the website!

    Kaitlyn N. Period 4

    It's an interesting how we know know so much about microbes already, I can't wait to see the outcome of your research on how microbes dominate nutrients in the environment and what factors are necessary for them to survive!

    William

    Thanks for the update, Ms. Coleman. I look forward to your future updates and the other things you do while in Antarctica.

    Yaroslava Savc…

    I hope you guys are staying warm, we are excited to know more about your research outcome.

    Sakura Scott

    Glad you guys are learning about microbes like you wanted too!

    Leighton Sommerdyke

    Thanks for updating us Mrs. Coleman. I can't wait for more and I hope you are staying warm.

    Nolan H. P.6

    Microbes sound very cool. Hope you find a new discovery of some kind there.

    eli nickerson

    why is there just micro organisms there how come there is not fish or other species.

    Amrit C Per 6

    I just wanted to ask if there is like an estimate or a specific number of microbe species in the water, and if there is how many types of species are there.

    Raine R

    How do microbes get nutrition?

    Lucy Coleman

    Microbes get nutrients in a bunch of ways. Sometimes they can just absorb things through their cell membranes. Other times they need to sort of reshape themselves around bigger particles and incorporate it into their parts. Other times, they eat each other!

    Ethan Gray p.6

    I hope you guys have even more fun with microbes and with that cold weather.

    Devon King

    Wow that's pretty cool, but are there still more things we need to know about microbes?