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Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

Where Science Meets Society

At Yellowstone, Art and Science Flourish Together

Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park represents a confluence of two seemingly contrasting views of the world. Its dramatic rock formations, diverse wildlife, and the flow of water for which it is named offer countless examples of natural beauty; yet scientists are drawn to these same features because of the unique opportunities they represent to better understand geological and biological processes.

Travertine Reveals Ancient Roman Aqueduct Supply

For hundreds of years, the Anio Novus aqueduct carried water 87 km (54 miles) from the Aniene River of the Apennine Mountains down into Rome. Built between AD 38 and 52, scholars continue to struggle to determine how much water the Anio Novus supplied to the Eternal City—until now.

By studying limestone deposits that formed from the flowing water within the aqueduct, called travertine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers reported in the Journal of Archaeological Science an actual estimate for the aqueduct’s flow rate of 1.4 m^3/s (± 0.4).

Oil- and metal-munching microbes dominate deep sandstone formations

Oil- and metal-munching microbes dominate deep sandstone formations

Halomonas are a hardy breed of bacteria. They can withstand heat, high salinity, low oxygen, utter darkness and pressures that would kill most other organisms. These traits enable these microbes to eke out a living in deep sandstone formations that also happen to be useful for hydrocarbon extraction and carbon sequestration, researchers report in a new study.

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