Mystery of Snails with Iron Shells That Survive Inside White-Hot Volcanoes
ENVIRONMENT, 11 May 2020
A team at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has decoded the genome of the volcano-dwelling scaly-foot snail, which can live in remarkably hot temperatures.
9 May 2020 – The mystery of the volcano-dwelling snail and its iron shell has been unravelled by scientists after its genome was decoded for the first time.
The scaly-foot snail survives in what researchers have called the “impossible living conditions” of underwater volcanic vents.
Enduring searing temperatures, high pressure, strong acidity and low oxygen, it is the only living creature known to incorporate iron into its skeleton.
Studying it will reveal the secrets of how early life evolved, scientists hope, as well as unlocking its “huge potential” for medicine and other applications.
Now a team at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) has made a breakthrough, decoding its genome for the first time.
Tags: Biodiversity, Environment
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