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Caption: The spring-fed pools, or 'pozas,' in Mexico's remote Cuatro Cienegas valley are home to at least 70 bacterial species found nowhere else on Earth. Rice University scientists wanted to examine ecosystems similar to those that existed on Earth more than 3 billion years. At Cuatro Cienegas, they studyied cyanobacteria living in a network of more than 200 spring-fed pools, or 'pozas,' where they made the surprising discovery that viruses that infect bacteria are sometimes parochial and unrelated to their counterparts in other regions of the globe.

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Keywords: bacteria, bacterium, chihuahuan desert, cuatro cienegas, cyanobacteria, ecological, ecology, ecosystem, landscape, marine life, mexico, nature, pozas, spring fed pool, spring-fed pool, water

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