Searching for origins of life in Yellowstone’s hot springs

A few hours ago I posted a notice on satellite studies of the uplifting of a part of the Yellowstone Caldera, and I suggested some (weak) links to how to use it in the classroom. In passing I noted that the volcanic rock site southwest of Yellowstone, the Craters of the Moon National Monument, had been used to show astronauts what the Moon would be like when they landed Apollo missions there.

Yellowstone and especially its volcanic features also provided dramatic insights to the origins of life on Earth, especially the rise of life in hot water. These findings advanced the science we now call astrobiology, or the search for life on other planets.

This evening I stumbled across an interesting feature: A full text of a classic 1978 book on thermophilic life in Yellowstone, explaining in greater detail the research conducted there and its significance in astrobiology and evolution. Thomas D. Brock’s book, Thermophilic microorganisms and life at high temperatures (Springer-Verlag, New York, 1978; 465 pages) is just sitting there, online, for anyone to read. Thermophilic microorganisms, book cover
In this book there is more real science to this one tiny facet of the study of the evolution of life than there is in the entirety of the intelligent design political movement.

I wonder what other gems there may be in that digital collection at the University of Wisconsin.

Below the fold: The frontispiece. Scientists generally have highly-developed senses of humor (which is one way to distinguish them from crank science advocates):

Cartoon, frontispiece to Thermophilic Microorganisms

These images are shown here under fair use from the University of Wisconsin’s Science Collection; for reprints beyond your study here, please consult with the University of Wisconsin Library’s Digital Collections.

One Response to Searching for origins of life in Yellowstone’s hot springs

  1. onlycrook says:

    Okay, I confess. I haven’t commented on any of your posts for a long time because I needed to read *61* of them. Sometimes life gets in the way of blog reading. But congrats on the 100,000 views and thanks for the two links I’ve delicioused (my newest verb) today.


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