Underground life drives drug research (Prof. Christine Salomon).
Even in the harshest conditions, life finds a way to thrive. More than 2,300 feet underground in the lowest recess of an old iron mine in northern Minnesota, researchers have found mysterious life in pools of water that they believe might be touching oxygen for the first time in more than 2.4 billion years. University of Minnesota researchers have been studying microorganisms living in the Soudan Underground Mine, 224 miles north of the Twin Cities. For about five years, they’ve catalogued the organisms capable of living there despite the mine’s harsh conditions, and they hope that their discoveries will lead them to new treatments for disease and new technology.