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WVU, Ohio State researchers get $2M to study micro-organisms in deep shale formations
Reported by: Associated Press
Thursday, October 31, 2013 2:46 AM EDT
Researchers from Ohio State and West Virginia universities have won a combined $2 million grant to study microbial biodiversity in underground shale-gas formations.
Starting in January, scientists will core samples to study a rarely examined habitat: kilometer-deep black shale.
That ecosystem's biodiversity could be at risk from the rapid growth of deep gas drilling.
WVU gets $351,000 to study chemical and isotopic biomarkers that micro-organisms leave behind during their growth.
Researchers say their work is the first of its kind.
They say it's important to understand the micro-organisms living in the shale because it has implications for current and past life on our planet. It also could help indicate when man-made changes occur.