BACK TO 1e: LIFE IN BOILING ACID
HOT POTS OF YELLOWSTONE
IN THE MORNING
THE TEAM TRAVELED to Yellowstone with a group of three biologists
and a geologist. The biologists had isolated a virus from Sulfolobus,
and wanted to obtain more samples from some of the volcanic "hot
pots" in the park. The geologist was interested in how extremophile
organisms affect the geology of the hot pots.
wanted to collect Sulfolobus samples from pots at a temperature
of around 145 degrees Fahrenheit, and with a pH level of around 3.
This meant that the team had to exercise caution around the hot pots,
as the water is steaming hot, and the acid level sufficient to destroy
The group had
to wait until some government scientists had finished tranquilizing
and examining a bison in the area. Then they hiked for a mile or so
up Rabbit Creek, to an area dotted with hot pots of near the desired
temperature and acidity.
Meet the Scientists