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Posts Tagged "archaea"

The Artful Amoeba

Thank You, Domain Archaea …

archaea_yellowstone_wiki_cc_wing-chi_poon_200

… and thank you to the late, great Carl Woese, for my post about both — Archaea Are More Wonderful Than You Know — was a finalist in the Best Biology Post category in this year’s ScienceSeeker Blog Awards. If you are interested in learning more about Woese and Archaea, I encourage you to listen [...]

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The Artful Amoeba

Archaea Are More Wonderful Than You Know

archeum_thermococcus_gammatolerans_angels_tapias_wiki_cc_200

In the 1970s, an obscure scientist named Carl Woese (pronounced “woes”) was working on something apparently rather mundane: finding a way to classify bacteria. Though that may seem a straightforward task, bacteria had stubbornly resisted all previous attempts. The traditional method — looking at differences in appearance, structure, and metabolism and sort of eyeballing it [...]

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The Artful Amoeba

Fountains of Life Found at the Bottom of the Dead Sea

DeadSeaIsrael_cc_wiki_xta11_200

For years, ripples at the surface of the Dead Sea hinted there was something mysterious going on beneath its salt-laden waters. But in a lake where accidentally swallowing the water while diving could lead to near-instant asphyxiation, no one was in a hurry to find out what it might be. This year, some intrepid divers [...]

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Lab Rat

From the archives: life at 90°C

Bacteria in a toga! Image (c) me.

I’m on holiday this week so this is an old post that appeared on my previous blog “Life of a Lab Rat” on July 1st 2010. Prokaryotes are by far the most successful superkingdom in terms of both biochemical diversity and the variety of environments conquered. Bacteria can be found living in all kinds of [...]

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Lab Rat

How the animals lost their sensors

The components of the two-component signalling system. Picture (c) me.

For free-living organisms, the ability to sense and respond to the outside environment is crucial for survival. Eukaryotes, such as animals and plants, often have highly complex network systems in place to monitor their surroundings and respond effectively, but bacteria have developed a remarkably simple system. It’s called the ‘Two Component System’ because it literally [...]

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Lab Rat

How to form a species (in the world of the Very Small)

A group of archaea. These ones are halobacteria - salt lovers - rather than the thermoacidophiles in the study.

A species is one of those things that is harder to define than it looks. While it’s clear that (for example) a rat is a different species than a dog, the more closely related animals get, the harder it is to properly put them into species. Usual definitions involve the sharing of physical characteristics (although [...]

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Observations

Millennia-Old Microbes Found Alive in Deep-Ocean Muck

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A sparse community of microbes can persist for eons in the clay beneath the deep blue sea. When scientists drilled into the Pacific Ocean bottom and pulled up a long core of clay, they also pulled up microbes living on so little that it was hard for the scientists to tell if they were alive [...]

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Thoughtomics

How genetic plunder transformed a microbe into a pink, salt-loving scavenger

The Pink Lakes in Australia are coloured pink by salt-loving microbes. Photo by Neilsphotography.

Most cells would shrivel to death in a salt lake. But not the Halobacteria. These microbes thrive in brine, painting waters a gentle pink or crimson red wherever they bloom. The Halobacteria live in every salt lake on this planet, from the Dead Sea of Israel to the vast salt flats at the feet of [...]

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