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Unformatted text preview: thermodynamics. Recall that the first law states that energy is neither created nor destroyed, but instead changes from one form to another (potential to kinetic). The second law mandates that when energy is transformed from one form to another, some usable energy is lost as heat. Thus, in any food chain, some energy must be lost as we move up the chain. The ultimate source of energy for nearly all life is the Sun. Recently, scientists discovered an exception to this once unchallenged truism: communities of organisms around ocean vents where food chain begins with chemosynthetic bacteria that oxidize hydrogen sulfide generated by inorganic chemical reactions inside the Earth's crust. In this special case, the source of energy is the internal heat engine of the Earth....
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- Fall '10