Terms in News: Danakil Depression

The Danakil Depression is the northern part of the Afar Triangle or Afar Depression in Ethiopia. It is one of the world’s hottest as well as lowest places on Earth (100 m below sea level). The hot springs in Danakil Depression offer a research opportunity for studying extremophile microbes. It is in news recently because according to new study published in Nature Ecology & Evolution, active and naturally occurring life cannot be sustained at Danakil. It identifies two barriers: a) magnesium-dominated brines that cause cells to break down; and b) an environment having simultaneously very low pH and high salt. Hence, the combination of both  barriers makes adaptation highly difficult.

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