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© ELI, 2015

From the deep

What, Where, How and Why.

The purpose of the non profit organisation ELi is combined biologcial, chemical and geological research of the deep terrestrial subsurface. Special emphasis of ELi is the search for  life at extreme depths. The research is mostly carried out in deep mines (>4 km) as these are the deepest sites on Earth that scientists can visit directly. By sampling and analysing the water that runs in fractures all the way down, scientists discover a hidden world quite unlike the one we are used to and unknown to most people, opening vistas for future research with direct consequences for technologies like fracking and carbon sequestration. Furthermore by studying some of the most primitive and exotic specimen found in extreme environments, scientists get an insight in how life might have originated and evolved. It provides a window to the past not only here on Earth but also on other planets (Mars) where life may have originated in a milder climate and maybe survives today under extreme conditions. Although this research will not cure cancer, offer relief from malaria or solve humanties many myriad problems, it does contribute significantly to two universally, probably most asked questions by scientists and non-scientists alike: where do we come from? and are we alone out here?