MIT Admissions

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Ben Jones

Jun 15, 2006

Ecosystems And Web Sites

Posted in: Miscellaneous

This is really, really cool. (Link stolen shamelessly from Riley.)

Except tell me, you science experts - how does an ecosystem with "fantastic biodiversity" survive for five million years without any direct contact with the sun or some similar primary energy source? Am I missing something here?

I told you guys - I'm not a science kid. Hook me up.

In other news, I've begun my big summer project - redesigning the admissions web site. The new site is going to be so awesome. Just you wait and see. :-)

How's summer going for you folks?

Comments (Closed after 30 days to reduce spam)

WHOA. That is awesome. I want to go see the "new" creatures!! :-D (Even if they don't have any eyes.)

Anyway, I'd assume the life in the cave has evolved to no longer depend on sunlight energy but instead chemical energy.

Summer's going well. I still haven't began the FPOP applications - can you pull some strings and get them to push back the deadline, Ben? wink I think we should have a pre-MIT trip to the beach sometime this summer. Everyone's invited! How fun would that be!?

Posted by: Christina on June 15, 2006

"...chemical energy..."

I thought of geothermal too...

But what's at the bottom of the food chain? Plants can't grow without sunlight. What are the no-eyed things eating down there?!?

Posted by: Ben on June 15, 2006


Posted by: Christina on June 15, 2006

You are SO right. Christina wins the prize!

"Also found in the cave were bacteria that serve as the basic food source in the ecosystem."

Posted by: Ben on June 15, 2006

Yay! I love good bacteria. :-D

Posted by: Christina on June 15, 2006

Yep, many kinds of bacteria are sustained by minerals (i.e. bare rock), and process them into substances usable by more advanced species.

Posted by: Eric Q '10 on June 15, 2006

Summer...well technically it's not summer yet^_^, but down here in Maryland it's pretty sunny and rainy. It alternates. I'm right now planning my grad/b-day party for this Sat.(YAY)

Then I head up north for Interphase, then FPOP(In either bio, eecs, nuclear or mech), then orientation. ^_^ Yay..I'm busy

Posted by: Nur on June 15, 2006

Yes, Chemical Energy is almost certainly the source of energy to this ecosystem. They synthesize complex organic molecules using energy from exothermic reactions they can catalyze.

According to my Biology textbook there're some alternative routes to this energy:

From Hydrogen Sulphide. This is rather like photosynthesis, except the Oxygen in Water's replaced by Sulphur.

CO2 + 2H2S --> (CH2O) + H2O + 2S

Or else there could be nitrifying bacteria of the Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter type, which are everywhere in the Nitrogen Cycle

2NH3 + 3O2 --> 2HNO2 + 2H2O (Nitrosomonas)

2HNO2 + O2 --> 2HNO3 (Nitrobacter)

Or else it could be Iron bacteria

CuFeS2 + 2Fe(SO4) + 2H2O + 3O2 --> CuSO4 + 5FeSO4 + 2H2SO4

I'd think nitrifying bacteria is out, since down there there shouldn't be too much oxygen to work on. The other two might be the source, however.

Posted by: Lerh Feng on June 16, 2006

Lerh, I think your Hydrogen Sulphide hypothesis is correct. In the article, I remember reading that the man bent down to test the temperature of the "sulfuric" water.

Posted by: Christina on June 16, 2006

Bacteria had to be somewhere in that cave! We had a whole talk about stuff like this in my AP Bio class once. I was in heaven.

Oh, yeah, my summer sucks. I'm still mostly broke and completely unemployed, since everyone seems to think that being 17 = being an incompetent fool.

...Curse it.

Posted by: thekeri on June 16, 2006

Hi, do you happen to know when we find out if we got into a FPOP (pre-orientation program)? Or do you know where we can find out? Thanks.

Posted by: Anna on June 17, 2006

Hi, do you know when we find out about admission to the FPOPs (pre-orientation programs)? Or do you know where we can find out? Thanks!

Posted by: Anna on June 17, 2006

Kind of reminds you of hydrothermal vents, doesn't it? A whole ecosystem being entirely self-sustaining like that. Sweet deal.

And, my summer actually just started. It's brilliant. But like Keri, also broke and unemployed. Bah!

Posted by: JKim on June 18, 2006

Jess & Keri - are you two not getting monetary graduation gifts from aunts & uncles and whatnot? I feel like I never have to work again, lol.

Posted by: Christina on June 18, 2006

Hey Anna,

I'm not sure - unfortunately admissions isn't involved in orientation. Write to [email protected] - they'll definitely be able to give you an answer.


Posted by: Ben on June 19, 2006

thekeri: I know how you feel, the best job I could get is selling knives =/

Posted by: Olga on June 20, 2006

Hey Ben,

I've just been preparing since I'm getting to Cambridge the 24th because Interphase starts the 25th, so yeah, I'll be working hard since summer smile

Posted by: Omar '10 on June 21, 2006

Christina -

I got graduation money in the form of a)cash that will keep me alive, fed, and afloat for the summer, and b)a Linens 'N Things gift card for an exorbitant amount of money, which covers all of the stuff for my room for the next million years.

Unfortunately, neither will help me eat next year. (And buy makeup from Sephora.)

And Olga, you have no idea how close I came to that! Only the knives I was supposed to sell were all about $200 each. It seemed really immoral to cheat people into buying defective cutlery...

Posted by: thekeri on June 21, 2006

I'd be interested in seeing the new website. Good luck with that!

Are you coding it yourself?

Posted by: Christian on June 23, 2006

Nance has officially taken over your office.

You better get back here.

Posted by: Christina on June 29, 2006

"Yo yo yo, you've reached Jones's Summer Home! Summer home and some are not!"

...heard from your office, Ben.

Posted by: Christina on June 30, 2006

Any idea when that '07 application will be online? The website just says "July"...

Posted by: Daniel on July 3, 2006

eek. I'm scared to let go of my admissions account. guess I'll just have to bookmark this.

How've you been, Ben?

Posted by: Justine on July 5, 2006

Dear Ben,

I have a question. 4 years of high school math are recommended for applying to MIT. I'm going to be a senior next year and I have chosen a Java class. Due to scheduling problems, I will not be able to take Calculus or another Math class. At our school, Java counts as Math credit, but I was wondering if the lack of "real" math will be a problem.

Thanks for your help.

Posted by: YG on July 5, 2006

hello, your site SUPERB.

Posted by: Christina on July 6, 2006

Christina - yeah, I got some, but not TOO much. I got a job at a bakery, though, so it's all good.

And hey, Ben, is there somewhere I can call to hear your summer home message? :D

Posted by: JKim on July 7, 2006

Jess---Yes, I think that would be Brian Nance's office. :-D

Posted by: Christina on July 7, 2006


Posted by: Christina on July 7, 2006

Hi Ben,

I had questions regarding transferring to MIT. I dont want any chances or anything but i just wanted to get a feel of what kind of an individual MIT really expects to know just so i am on track in college or maybe to get to know whether i really want to transfer to MIT or not. I am an international btw but will be studying in a US univ. Worcester Polytechnic Institute,Worcester to be exact..

Posted by: Shikhar on July 8, 2006

Hi Ben. Long time no see? Please post something... I miss you!

Posted by: MMX on July 10, 2006

Comments have been closed.