Life in the Dead Sea

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THE remarkably high salt tolerance of unicellular organisms, which have been found in a saline lake of salt concentration so high as 19–26 per cent sodium chloride by Ruben Tschik, T. Hof, Baas-Becking and others, caused us to doubt the accuracy of the reputation of lifelessness, which tradition imputes to the Dead Sea. Accordingly, samples of Dead Sea water were taken under sterile conditions at a distance of 3–4 km. from the mouth of the Jordan at various sea depths up to 7 metres. The total salt concentration of the water samples was 28–29 per cent. Bacterial organisms could be grown in 1 per cent peptone sample water media at temperatures of 21°–23° C. and 30° C. from all the samples taken.

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