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Latest Archaea Stories

2011-07-26 12:09:19

Billions of years ago, an astounding evolutionary event occurred: certain bacteria became obliged to live inside other cells, thus starting a chain of events that resulted in what is now the mitochondria, an organelle found in all eukaryotic cells. A recent study by researchers at the University of Hawaii "“ Manoa (UHM) and the Oregon State University (OSU) provides strong evidence that mitochondria share a common evolutionary ancestor with a lineage of marine bacteria known as SAR11,...

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2011-07-06 07:53:34

Prospecting for new and unusual cellulose-digesting enzymes for biofuels production By Robert Sanders, UC Berkeley Bioprospectors from the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Maryland School of Medicine have found a microbe in a Nevada hot spring that happily eats plant material "“ cellulose "“ at temperatures near the boiling point of water. In fact, the microbe's cellulose-digesting enzyme, called a cellulase, is most active at a record 109 degrees Celsius...

2011-06-30 17:22:06

In order to realize the full potential of advanced biofuels that are derived from non-food sources of lignocellulosic biomass"”e.g., agricultural, forestry, and municipal waste, and crops such as poplar, switchgrass and miscanthus"”new technologies that can efficiently and cost-effectively break down this biomass into simple sugars are required. Existing biomass pretreatment technologies are typically derived from the pulp and paper industry and rely on dilute acids and bases to...

2011-04-25 16:22:58

Life on Earth would be impossible, without the metabolic capacities of the smallest of all living forms, the Bacteria and the Archaea. These microorganisms play a central role in global nutrient cycles, because they degrade organic matter to the smallest compounds, thus bringing them back to the atmosphere or recycling them for the synthesis of novel cells. "However, the great diversity and high numbers of Bacteria and Archaea in soils have only been detected relatively recently, with the...

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2011-04-04 23:50:00

A new study reveals that a group of ancient enzymes adapted to substantial changes in ocean temperature and acidity during the last four billion years, providing evidence that life on Early Earth evolved from a much hotter, more acidic environment to the cooler, less acidic global environment that exists today.The study found that a group of ancient enzymes known as thioredoxin were chemically stable at temperatures up to 32 degrees Celsius (58 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than their modern...

2010-07-13 18:16:54

Team maps targets with hopes of blocking reproduction and rendering infection down for the count In any battle, sizing up one's opponent is a critical first step. For researchers fighting a bacterial infection, that means assessing every nook and cranny of the malicious microorganism and identifying which ones to attack. At the Center for Biological Research of the Spanish Research Council in Madrid, scientists are devising maneuvers they hope will take out bacteria at their molecular knees,...

2010-07-12 13:14:30

Lowly bacteria are turning out to be much more complex than previously thought. In the July, 2010 issue of the journal Molecular Microbiology, Loyola University Health System researchers describe an example of bacterial complexity, called "protein acetylation," which once was thought to be rare in bacteria. This discovery that protein acetylation is common in bacteria has led to the "dawning of a new age" in bacterial research, senior author Alan Wolfe, PhD. and colleagues wrote. Protein...

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2010-05-13 09:25:38

First large-scale formal quantitative test confirms Darwin's theory of universal common ancestry More than 150 years ago, Darwin proposed the theory of universal common ancestry (UCA), linking all forms of life by a shared genetic heritage from single-celled microorganisms to humans. Until now, the theory that makes ladybugs, oak trees, champagne yeast and humans distant relatives has remained beyond the scope of a formal test. This week, a Brandeis biochemist reports in Nature the results of...

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2010-05-04 09:05:00

Microbes have among smallest genomes, plus unusual interactions with other Archaea In the depths of a former copper mine in Northern California dwell what may be the smallest, most stripped-down forms of life ever discovered. The microbes "“ members of the domain of one-celled creatures called Archaea "“ are smaller than other known microorganisms, rivaled in size only by a microbe that can survive solely as a parasite attached to the outside of other cells. Their genomes,...

2010-01-20 14:59:50

In proper society of yesterday, a chaperone ensured that couples maintained appropriate courting rituals. In biology, a group of proteins called chaperonins make sure that proteins are folded properly to carry out their assigned roles in the cells. In a new study in archaea (single-celled organisms without nuclei to enclose their genetic information), a consortium of researchers from Baylor College of Medicine and Stanford University in California discovered how the Group II chaperonins close...