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Latest Archaea Stories

2012-04-20 10:12:35

Tracing the tree of life back to a single ancestral form A study published in PLoS Computational Biology maps the development of life-sustaining chemistry to the history of early life. Researchers Rogier Braakman and Eric Smith of the Santa Fe Institute traced the six methods of carbon fixation seen in modern life back to a single ancestral form. Carbon fixation — life's mechanism for making carbon dioxide biologically useful — forms the biggest bridge between Earth's...

2012-04-17 10:27:01

Many manufacturing processes rely on microorganisms to perform tricky chemical transformations or make substances from simple starting materials. The authors of a study appearing in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, on April 17 have found a way to control a heat-loving microbe with a temperature switch: it makes a product at low temperatures but not at high temperatures. The innovation could make it easier to use microorganisms as miniature...

2012-03-29 22:32:41

The scientists have studied the genomes of more than 500 organisms. The appearance of some specific enzymes for bacteria and eukaryotes promoted the separation of the species. All living organisms on Earth are divided into three large domains: Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya, and from the beginning of life —more than 3,000 million years ago -, the genomes of each group have evolved towards distinct structures that have favored their separation. A study led by Lluís Ribas de...

2012-03-12 21:00:31

A team of scientists has documented for the first time that animals can and do consume Archaea — a type of single-celled microorganism thought to be among the most abundant life forms on Earth. Archaea that consume the greenhouse gas methane were in turn eaten by worms living at deep-sea cold seeps off Costa Rica and the West Coast of the United States. Archaea perform many key ecosystem services including being involved with nitrogen cycling, and they are known to be the main...

2012-03-08 00:57:47

Drought events are largely unknown in Earth's history, because reconstruction of ancient hydrological conditions remains difficult due to lack of proxy. New GEOLOGY research supported by China´s NNSF and MS&T uses a microbial lipid proxy of highly alkaline conditions to identify enhanced aridity in Miocene sediments on the Tibetan Plateau. This enhanced aridity is associated with significant uplift of the Tibetan Plateau nine million years ago. According to the study's lead...

2012-03-07 15:43:18

Researchers at the RIKEN SPring-8 Center in Harima, Japan have clarified for the first time how chromatin in archaea, one of the three evolutionary branches of organisms in nature, binds to DNA. The results offer valuable clues into the evolution of chromatin structure in multi-cellular organisms and promise insights into how abnormalities in such structure can contribute to cancers and gene disorders. Three distinct evolutionary branches of organisms make up all natural forms of life on...

Microbes Found Speciating In Russian Hot Spring
2012-02-22 09:04:50

[ Watch the Video ] It was Darwin who, upon studying evolving creatures, wondered how species diverge if they are living together. “That question really hasn´t been answered very well, even in the macro-organisms that we´ve studied for hundreds of years,” University of Illinois microbiology professor Rachel Whitaker ponders. Despite still being in close proximity to one another in an acidic, boiling habitat of a hot spring in Kamchatka, Russia, two groups of...

Image 1 - Microbial Oasis Found Beneath Atacama Desert, Lessons For Mars
2012-02-17 04:13:29

Two meters below the surface of the Atacama Desert there is an 'oasis' of microorganisms. Researchers from the Center of Astrobiology (Spain) and the Catholic University of the North in Chile have found it in hypersaline substrates thanks to SOLID, a detector for signs of life which could be used in environments similar to subsoil on Mars. Life is bustling under the driest desert on Earth. A Spanish-Chilean team of scientists have found bacteria and archaea (primitive microorganisms)...

2012-02-02 18:00:10

The communities of marine microorganisms that make up half the biomass in the oceans and are responsible for half the photosynthesis the world over, mostly remain enigmatic. A few abundant groups have had their genomes described, but the natures and functions of the rest remain mysterious. Understanding how the changing global environment might affect these important ecosystem players is like trying to understand the solar system when all you can discern are the brightest objects in the...

Image 1 - Massive, Complex Projects For DOE JGI 2012 Community Sequencing Program
2011-11-04 03:07:12

According to roadside signs, the number of burgers served has eclipsed the billion mark, while the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI) will now serve up trillions of nucleotides of information from scores of newly-selected projects geared to feed the data-hungry worldwide research community. The 2012 Community Sequencing Program (CSP) call invited researchers to submit proposals for projects that advance capabilities in fields such as plant-microbe interactions,...


Word of the Day
negawatt
  • A unit of saved energy.
Coined by Amory Lovins, chairman of the Rocky Mountain Institute as a contraction of negative watt on the model of similar compounds like megawatt.