By Emily Berge-Thielmann
Two Simon’s Rock students, Sarah Wang and Harlan Abrams, have received their second NASA Fellowship via the Massachusetts Space Grant Consortium for research in Assistant Professor Dr. Amy Smith’s laboratory. Both Sarah Wang and Harlan Abrams are working with samples from deep-sea hydrothermal vents.
This photo is of one of the samples Smith, Wang, and Abrams have been working on in the lab. Pictured here, they are incubated in the flow of a hydrothermal vent at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Mineral samples are put in these orange cones to try to direct the hot water flow through the cones. Harlan Abrams is extracting DNA from the microorganisms that are attached to the minerals during that time.
“We are expecting these organisms to be different from what is in the hot water in terms of composition since only certain microbes will probably like the minerals as a source of food or energy,” says Assistant Professor of Biology Amy Smith.
Image: Ocean Exploration Trust