Latest Archaea Stories

2009-05-28 14:32:15

U.S. scientists say they've discovered populations of the microbe Sulfolobus islandicus that can live in boiling acid are more diverse than thought. University of Illinois researchers in Champaign said they found the diversity of S. islandicus is driven largely by geographic isolation and that finding demonstrates, for the first time, that geography trumps other factors that influence the makeup of genes in organism hosts. The researchers, led by Professor Rachel Whitaker, compared three...

2009-05-27 11:23:28

Sulfolobus islandicus, a microbe that can live in boiling acid, is offering up its secrets to researchers hardy enough to capture it from the volcanic hot springs where it thrives. In a new study, researchers report that populations of S. islandicus are more diverse than previously thought, and that their diversity is driven largely by geographic isolation. The findings open a new window on microbial evolution, demonstrating for the first time that geography can trump other factors that...

2009-03-30 11:23:59

U.S. scientists say they've discovered microbes can directly convert carbon dioxide and water to methane without generating hydrogen. Pennsylvania State University Professor Bruce Logan said his team made the discovery while studying making hydrogen in microbial electrolysis cells. We kept getting all this methane, he said. We may now understand why. Methanogenic microorganisms produce methane in marshes and dumps but scientists thought the organisms turned hydrogen or organic materials, such...

2009-03-30 11:18:08

A tiny microbe can take electricity and directly convert carbon dioxide and water to methane, producing a portable energy source with a potentially neutral carbon footprint, according to a team of Penn State engineers. "We were studying making hydrogen in microbial electrolysis cells and we kept getting all this methane," said Bruce E. Logan, Kappe Professor of Environmental Engineering, Penn State. "We may now understand why." Methanogenic microorganisms do produce methane in marshes and...

2009-02-04 15:08:45

Japanese scientists say they have made the world's first discovery of genes, in jigsaw-like pieces, taken from an archaean living in a hot spring. The Keio University researchers led by Professor Akio Kanai said their findings are expected to lead to an explanation of the origin and evolution of genes since archaeans, unicellular organisms, are one of the earliest forms of life on Earth. The researchers said they discovered combinations of 3 individual RNAs produced from separate genes can...

2009-01-29 09:32:45

Taking a hint from the text comparison methods used to detect plagiarism in books, college papers and computer programs, University of California, Berkeley, researchers have developed an improved method for comparing whole genome sequences. With nearly a thousand genomes partly or fully sequenced, scientists are jumping on comparative genomics as a way to construct evolutionary trees, trace disease susceptibility in populations, and even track down people's ancestry. To date, the most common...

2009-01-20 10:23:00

In terms of diversity and sheer numbers, the microbes occupying the human gut easily dwarf the billions of people inhabiting the Earth. Numbering in the tens of trillions and representing many thousands of distinct genetic families, this microbiome, as it's called, helps the body perform a variety of regulatory and digestive functions, many still poorly understood. How this microbial m©lange may be linked to body weight changes associated with morbid obesity is a relevant and important...

2009-01-15 14:35:55

Huge methane gas bursts on Mars appear to be caused by bacteria rather than volcanic activity, U.S. government scientists said Thursday. The researchers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., did not say what bacteria created the methane, the principal component of natural gas. But their findings, published in the journal Science, suggest the possibility of present-day microbes living on the fourth planet from the sun, The New York Times reported. On Earth, bacteria known as...

2008-12-17 15:57:04

Here's another argument against intelligent design. An evolutionary geneticist from the Universit© de Montr©al, together with researchers from the French cities of Lyon and Montpellier, have published a ground-breaking study that characterizes the common ancestor of all life on earth, LUCA (Last Universal Common Ancestor). Their findings, presented in a recent issue of Nature, show that the 3.8-billion-year-old organism was not the creature usually imagined. The study changes ideas...

2008-08-21 17:50:00

A new study of the ribosome, the cell's protein-building machinery, sheds light on the oldest branches of the evolutionary tree of life and suggests that differences in ribosomal structure between the three main branches of that tree are "molecular fossils" of the early evolution of protein synthesis. The new analysis, from researchers at the University of Illinois, reveals that key regions of the ribosome differ between bacteria and archaea, microbes that the researchers say are genetically...

Word of the Day
  • A gigantic fictional humanoid alien god being described with a head resembling an octopus and dragon wings and claws, around whom an insane cult developed.
  • Pertaining to the mythos of Cthulhu and additional otherworldly beings created by H. P. Lovecraft or inspired by his writings and imitators.
This word was invented in 1926 by H.P. Lovecraft for his short story, 'The Call of Cthulhu.' 'Cthulhu' may be based on the word 'chthonic,' which in Greek mythology refers to the underworld.