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Illinois IGB


Art of Science Gallery 06

Inner Space

Zeiss Axiozoom V16 Scope

Abigail Asangba

Bruce Fouke Laboratory

Funded by the Total Oil Company

Travertine is a type of limestone formed by calcium carbonate precipitated from hot springs. Surprisingly, communities of microbes play a key role in this process by catalyzing mineralization. The points of light in this image show the locations of fragments of DNA within ancient travertine. Understanding how microbes contribute to travertine formation on Earth inform the search for life on other planets, including Mars.