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Keyword: extremophiles

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  • Microbes harvest electrons: Novel process discovered

    11/08/2019 2:33:15 PM PST · by Openurmind · 39 replies
    Science Daily ^ | Nov 5, 2019 | Washington University
    Ever since scientists discovered that certain microbes can get their energy from electrical charges, researchers have wondered how they do it. Bacteria don't have mouths, so they need another way to bring their fuel into their bodies. New research from Washington University in St. Louis reveals how one such bacteria pulls in electrons straight from an electrode source. The work from the laboratory of Arpita Bose, assistant professor of biology in Arts & Sciences, was published Nov. 5 in the scientific journal mBio. "The molecular underpinning of this process has been difficult to unravel until our work," Bose said. "This...
  • Tardigrades Use Intrinsically Disordered Proteins to Survive Desiccation

    03/17/2017 1:50:15 PM PDT · by JoeProBono · 43 replies
    cell ^ | 16 March 2017 | Thomas C. Boothby
    Tardigrades are microscopic animals that survive a remarkable array of stresses, including desiccation [extreme drying]. How tardigrades survive desiccation has remained a mystery for more than 250 years. Trehalose, a disaccharide essential for several organisms to survive drying, is detected at low levels or not at all in some tardigrade species, indicating that tardigrades possess potentially novel mechanisms for surviving desiccation. Here we show that tardigrade-specific intrinsically disordered proteins (TDPs) are essential for desiccation tolerance. TDP genes are constitutively expressed at high levels or induced during desiccation in multiple tardigrade species. TDPs are required for tardigrade desiccation tolerance, and these...
  • ...Antarctic fungi survives Martian conditions...strapped outside the space station for 18 months

    01/28/2016 6:28:56 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 9 replies
    daily mail uk ^ | 01/25/2016 | cheyenne macdonald
    After a year-and-a-half long voyage aboard the International Space Station, a group of fungi collected from Antarctica has proven its ability to withstand harsh, Mars-like conditions. More than half of the cells remained intact over the course of the 18-month study, providing new insight for the possibility of life on Mars. These fungal samples, along with lichens from Spain and Austria, have allowed European researchers to assess the survivability and stability of microscopic lifeforms on the red planet. The tiny fungi taken from Antarctica are typically found in the cracks of rocks in this dry, hostile region. Scientists took samples...
  • Researchers find evidence of cavity-dwelling microbial life from 3 billion years ago

    01/01/2016 5:14:05 AM PST · by WhiskeyX · 42 replies ^ | December 28, 2015 | Bob Yirka
    (—A team of researchers from Germany and Switzerland has found examples of microbial life from over 3 billion years ago, that appeared to have evaded UV radiation by hiding in subsurface cavities. In their paper published in the journal Geology, the team describes where the fossilized cells were found, their testing techniques and why their finding is important. Scientists believe that life first came to exist on planet Earth approximately three and a half to four billion years ago, a time called the Archaean aeon, when there was not yet an ozone layer to filer out UV radiation, or oxygen...
  • Ocean bubbles up to surface of Jupiter's moon Europa

    03/06/2013 10:01:01 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 12 replies ^ | By Mike Wall
    The huge ocean sloshing beneath the icy shell of Jupiter's moon Europa likely makes its way to the surface in some places, suggesting astronomers may not need to drill down deep to investigate it, a new study reports. Scientists have detected chemicals on Europa's frozen surface that could only come from the global liquid-water ocean beneath, implying the two are in contact and potentially opening a window into an environment that may be capable of supporting life as we know it. "We now have evidence that Europa's ocean is not isolated — that the ocean and the surface talk to...
  • Russia finds 'new bacteria' in Antarctic lake

    03/07/2013 9:51:30 AM PST · by Red Badger · 41 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 03-07-2013 | Staff
    Russian scientists believe they have found a wholly new type of bacteria in the mysterious subglacial Lake Vostok in Antarctica, the RIA Novosti news agency reported on Thursday. The samples obtained from the underground lake in May 2012 contained a bacteria which bore no resemblance to existing types, said Sergei Bulat of the genetics laboratory at the Saint Petersburg Institute of Nuclear Physics. "After putting aside all possible elements of contamination, DNA was found that did not coincide with any of the well-known types in the global database," he said. "We are calling this life form unclassified and unidentified," he...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Tardigrade in Moss

    03/06/2013 4:58:16 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 31 replies
    NASA ^ | March 06, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Is this an alien? Probably not, but of all the animals on Earth, the tardigrade might be the best candidate. That's because tardigrades are known to be able to go for decades without food or water, to survive temperatures from near absolute zero to well above the boiling point of water, to survive pressures from near zero to well above that on ocean floors, and to survive direct exposure to dangerous radiations. The far-ranging survivability of these extremophiles was tested in 2011 outside an orbiting space shuttle. Tardigrades are so durable partly because they can repair their own DNA...
  • Strange bacteria found on South American volcanoes

    06/13/2012 6:31:04 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 10 replies
    watts Up With That? ^ | June 10, 2012 | Anthony Watts
    From the University of Colorado at Boulder, proof that life can inhabit just about anywhere. CU-Boulder-led team finds microbes in extreme environment on South American volcanoesA CU-Boulder-led team has discovered some rare, primitive microorganisms on high volcanoes in South America that may be fueled by drifting gases in the region rather than photosynthesis. Credit: University of Colorado A team led by the University of Colorado Boulder looking for organisms that eke out a living in some of the most inhospitable soils on Earth has found a hardy few.A new DNA analysis of rocky soils in the Martian-like landscape on some...
  • Giant Tropical Lake Found On Saturn Moon Titan

    06/13/2012 6:33:23 PM PDT · by edpc · 44 replies via Yahoo News ^ | 13 June 2012 | Charles Q. Choi
    An oasis of liquid methane has unexpectedly been discovered amid the tropical dunes of Saturn's moon Titan, researchers say. This lake in the otherwise dry tropics of Titan hints that subterranean channels of liquid methane might feed it from below, scientists added. Titan has clouds, rain and lakes, like Earth, but these are composed of methane rather than water. However, methane lakes were seen only at Titan's poles until now — its tropics around the equator were apparently home to dune fields instead.
  • Deep-sea creatures at volcanic vent

    12/28/2011 8:21:06 AM PST · by decimon · 23 replies
    BBC ^ | December 27, 2011 | Rebecca Morelle
    Remarkable images of life from one of the most inhospitable spots in the ocean have been captured by scientists.Researchers have been surveying volcanic underwater vents - sometimes called black smokers - in the South West Indian Ridge in the Indian Ocean. The UK team found an array of creatures living in the super-heated waters, including yeti crabs, scaly-foot snails and sea cucumbers. They believe some of the species may be new to science.
  • Badwater Basin: Death Valley Microbe Thrives There

    12/27/2011 5:07:37 PM PST · by decimon · 13 replies
    National Science Foundation ^ | December 22, 2011
    View a video showing the bacteria BW-1 swimming in the direction of the magnetic field. Nevada, the "Silver State," is well-known for mining precious metals. But scientists Dennis Bazylinski and colleagues at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) do a different type of mining. They sluice through every water body they can find, looking for new forms of microbial magnetism. In a basin named Badwater on the edge of Death Valley National Park, Bazylinski and researcher Christopher Lefèvre hit pay dirt. Lefèvre is with the French National Center of Scientific Research and University of Aix-Marseille II. In this week's...
  • Giant one-celled organisms discovered over six miles below the ocean's surface

    11/05/2011 2:55:33 PM PDT · by neverdem · 51 replies · 1+ views ^ | October 23, 2011 | Jeremy Hance
    PDF version Imagine a one-celled organism the size of a mango. It's not science fiction, but fact: scientists have cataloged dozens of giant one-celled creatures, around 4 inches (10 centimeters), in the deep abysses of the world's oceans. But recent exploration of the Mariana Trench has uncovered the deepest record yet of the one-celled behemoths, known as xenophyophores. Found at 6.6 miles beneath the ocean's surface, the xenophyophores beats the previous record by nearly two miles. The Mariana Trench xenophyophores were discovered by dropcams, developed by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and National Geographic, which are unmanned HD cameras 'dropped'...
  • Russian team prepares to penetrate Lake Vostok

    01/09/2011 8:43:41 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 32 replies
    wired ^ | 07 January 11 | Duncan Geere
    Lake Vostok, which has been sealed off from the world for 14 million years, is about to be penetrated by a Russian drill bit. The lake, which lies four kilometres below the icy surface of Antarctica, is unique in that it's been completely isolated from the other 150 subglacial lakes on the continent for such a long time. It's also oligotropic, meaning that it's supersaturated with oxygen -- levels of the element are 50 times higher than those found in most typical freshwater lakes. Since 1990, the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute in St Petersberg in Russia has been drilling...
  • Scientists Document Bustling Community Far Below Ocean Floor

    05/27/2008 4:53:13 PM PDT · by neverdem · 13 replies · 246+ views
    NY Times ^ | May 27, 2008 | HENRY FOUNTAIN
    The lost civilization of Atlantis may just be legend, but way down below the ocean (to quote the folksinger Donovan) there are some things that are very real — namely, bacteria and archaea. By some estimates, sub-seafloor prokaryotes may account for two-thirds of the biomass of these types of organisms on Earth. The latest evidence for such a huge undersea biosphere, and a depth record of sorts, is reported in Science by R. John Parkes of Cardiff University and colleagues. They have found living prokaryotes 5,335 feet below the ocean floor off Newfoundland, about twice as deep as the previous...
  • Microbe fixes nitrogen at a blistering 92 C, may offer clues to evolution of nitrogen fixation

    01/09/2007 12:29:24 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies · 326+ views
    University of Washington ^ | December 14, 2006 | Office of News and Information
    Archaea are single-celled organisms that live under extreme environmental conditions, such as the high temperatures and crushing pressures below the seafloor. If heat-loving archaea were the first life on the planet, they would have needed a usable source of nitrogen, Baross says. Known as FS406-22 because of the fluid and culture samples it came from, the archaeon discovered by the UW researchers is the first from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent that can fix nitrogen, says Mehta, first author on the Science paper. It was collected at Axial Volcano on the Juan de Fuca Ridge off the coast of Washington and...
  • Shotgun sequencing finds nanoorganisms

    12/22/2006 7:30:06 PM PST · by WestVirginiaRebel · 9 replies · 671+ views ^ | 12-22-06 | WestVirginiaRebel
    Berkeley-For 11 years, Jill Banfield at the University of California, Berkeley, has collected and studied the microbes that slime the floors of mines and convert iron to acid, a common source of stream pollution around the world.Imagine her surprise, then, when research scientists Brett Baker discovered three new microbes living amidst the bacteria she thought she knew well. All three were so small-the size of large viruses-as to be virtually invisible under a microscope, and belonged to a totally new phylum of Archaea, microorganisms that have been around for billions of years.
  • Finding Mars between the cracks

    03/18/2004 7:26:02 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 68+ views ^ | 3/19/04 | Jim Gilchrist
    JIM GILCHRIST Charles Cockell opens a growth chamber, tucked away within the Cambridge headquarters of the British Antarctic Survey, to expose rows of Petri dishes. He picks one of them up, its interior slicked with tell-tale green. "These are going into space," he says, matter-of-factly. In the corridor outside hangs a stuffed albatross, a trophy from some bygone Antarctic expedition, but the still-living life forms in the Petri dishes have been gleaned on much more recent trips, and not just to Antarctica. These are photosynthetic cyanobacteria - "extremophiles" as they’re known - some from the Antarctic, but others collected in...