NYU Tandon faculty member explores life's limits at the bottom of the Gowanus Canal

Elizabeth Hénaff, assistant professor affiliated with NYU Tandon's Sustainable Engineering Initiative, has been uncovering a community of extremophiles, a type of microorganism capable of living in extreme conditions that have the ability to break down the pernicious waste, at the bottom of the Gowanus canal. These microbes reproduce with enormous speed, the ratio of time being 20 years in 20 minutes of our perception, “so in the time that we’re talking now there will have been three generations of microbes,” said Hénaff.