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Latest Archaea Stories

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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...

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2009-12-24 07:40:00

The Earth is estimated to have about a nonillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) microbes in, on, around, and under it, comprised of an unknown but very large number of distinct species. Despite the widespread availability of microbial genome data"”close to 2,000 microbes have been and are being decoded to date"”a vast unknown realm awaits scientists intent on exploring microorganisms that inhabit this "undiscovered country." Two thousand years after Pliny the Elder...

2009-11-25 14:56:51

Bacteria don't have easy lives. In addition to mammalian immune systems that besiege the bugs, they have natural enemies called bacteriophages, viruses that kill half the bacteria on Earth every two days. Still, bacteria and another class of microorganisms called archaea (first discovered in extreme environments such as deep-sea volcanic vents) manage just fine, thank you, in part because they have a built-in defense system that helps protect them from many viruses and other invaders. A team...

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2009-10-16 08:00:01

Sediment samples from methane cold seeps off California shed light on mystery Scientists have identified an unexpected metabolic ability in a symbiotic community of deep-sea microorganisms. It may help solve a lingering mystery about the world's nitrogen cycle. The element nitrogen is a critical part of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, and therefore essential to all life. Although nitrogen is plentiful on Earth--it represents 78 percent of the atmosphere, by volume--the element...

2009-10-01 09:26:57

It's not every day you find clues to the planet's inner workings in aquarium scum. But that's what happened a few years ago when University of Washington researchers cultured a tiny organism from the bottom of a Seattle Aquarium tank and found it can digest ammonia, a key environmental function. New results show this minute organism and its brethren play a more central role in the planet's ecology than previously suspected. The findings, published online today in the journal Nature, show that...

2009-07-15 11:29:12

A microscopic single-celled organism, adapted to survive in some of the harshest environments on earth, could help scientists gain a better understanding of how cancer cells behave.Experts at The University of Nottingham were astonished to discover that the archaeon Haloferax volcanii was better at repairing DNA damage if enzymes, that are widely considered to be critically important in coordinating the repair of DNA, were mutated.Dr Thorsten Allers, from the Institute of Genetics, said:...

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2009-07-15 10:40:00

A microscopic single-celled organism, adapted to survive in some of the harshest environments on earth, could help scientists gain a better understanding of how cancer cells behave.Experts at The University of Nottingham were astonished to discover that the archaeon Haloferax volcanii was better at repairing DNA damage if enzymes, that are widely considered to be critically important in coordinating the repair of DNA, were mutated.Dr Thorsten Allers, from the Institute of Genetics, said:...

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2009-07-09 13:45:00

Iron and manganese compounds, in addition to sulfate, may play an important role in converting methane to carbon dioxide and eventually carbonates in the Earth's oceans, according to a team of researchers looking at anaerobic sediments. These same compounds may have been key to methane reduction in the early, oxygenless days of the planet's atmosphere."We used to believe that microbes only consumed methane in marine anaerobic sediment if sulfate was present," said Emily Beal, graduate student...

2009-06-23 10:18:07

Nickel, an important trace nutrient for the single cell organisms that produce methane, may be a useful isotopic marker to pinpoint the past origins of these methanogenic microbes, according to Penn State and University of Bristol, UK, researchers."Our data suggest significant potential in nickel stable isotopes for identifying and quantifying methanogenesis on the early Earth," said Vyllinniskii Cameron, recent Penn State Ph.D. recipient in geosciences and astrobiology and currently a...


Word of the Day
barratry
  • The offense of persistently instigating lawsuits, typically groundless ones.
  • An unlawful breach of duty on the part of a ship's master or crew resulting in injury to the ship's owner.
  • Sale or purchase of positions in church or state.
This word ultimately comes from the Old French word 'barater,' to cheat.
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