Latest Archaea Stories

2008-07-21 12:58:19

Biogeoscientists show evidence of 90 billion tons of microbial organisms"”expressed in terms of carbon mass"”living in the deep biosphere, in a research article published online by Nature, July 20, 2008. This tonnage corresponds to about one-tenth of the amount of carbon stored globally in tropical rainforests. The authors: Kai-Uwe Hinrichs and Julius Lipp of the Center for Marine Environmental Sciences (MARUM) at University of Bremen, Germany; and Fumio Inagaki and Yuki Morono of...

2008-06-25 14:26:59

Mild environmental conditions are a prerequisite for life. Strong acids or dissolved metallic salts in high concentrations are detrimental to both humans and to simpler life forms, such as bacteria. Such conditions destroy proteins, ensuring that all biological functions in the cells come to a standstill. So what do we find at the limits of hostile conditions where we still find life? Scientists at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig (Germany) have joined up with...

2008-05-23 13:10:00

Scientists have been given a hint that life might evolve underground on other planets as microbes were discovered living at a record depth of one mile beneath the Atlantic seabed.Experts in Wales and France noted that the discovery of prokaryotic microbes in searing hot sediments under the seabed off Newfoundland, Canada, doubles the previous depth record of 842 meters. "This is the deepest, oldest and hottest marine sediments that prokaryotic life has been found in," said John Parks,...

2008-05-14 09:50:00

Scientists of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Leipzig and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena succeeded in capturing syntrophic (means "feeding together") microorganisms that are known to dramatically reduce the oceanic emission of methane into the atmosphere. These microorganisms that oxidize methane anaerobically are an important component of the global carbon cycle and a major sink for methane on Earth. Methane -- a more than 20 times...

2008-02-18 13:27:16

Enzymes called helicases play a key role in human health, according to Maria Spies, a University of Illinois biochemistry professor."DNA helicases act as critical components in many molecular machineries orchestrating DNA repair in the cell." she said. "Multiple diseases including cancer and aging are associated with malfunctions in these enzymes."Spies' laboratory undertook a recent study of an enzyme, called Rad3, which defines a group of DNA helicases characterized by a unique structural...

2008-02-07 14:15:00

Using the genetic equivalent of an ancient thermometer, a team of scientists has determined that the Earth endured a massive cooling period between 500 million and 3.5 billion years ago.Reporting today (Feb. 7) in the journal Nature, researchers from the University of Florida, the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution and the biotechnology company DNA2.0 describe how they reconstructed proteins from ancient bacteria to measure the Earth's temperature over the ages. "By studying proteins...

2007-08-27 08:27:06

Scientists have suspected that the three known domains of life -- eukaryotes, bacteria, and archaea -- branched off and went their separate ways around three billion years ago. But pinning down the time of that split has been an elusive task. Now, a team of scientists present direct evidence that the three domains of life coexisted at least as long as 2.7 billion years ago. The discovery came from chemical examination of shale samples, loaded with oily lipid remains of archaea found in a...

2007-01-21 09:47:36

Scientists have identified tiny nanoorganisms, which are virtually impossible to see beneath the microscope, in a Californian mine. The discovery may have important implications in the search for life on other planets. For 11 years, Jill Banfield at the University of California, Berkeley, has collected and studied the microbes that slime the floors of mines and convert iron to acid, a common source of stream pollution around the world. Imagine her surprise, then, when research scientist Brett...

2006-12-23 12:07:30

For 11 years, Jill Banfield at the University of California, Berkeley, has collected and studied the microbes that slime the floors of mines and convert iron to acid, a common source of stream pollution around the world. Imagine her surprise, then, when research scientist Brett Baker discovered three new microbes living amidst the bacteria she thought she knew well. All three were so small - the size of large viruses - as to be virtually invisible under a microscope, and belonged to a totally...

2006-12-12 08:54:44

In the world of microbes, as in politics, some groups just can't seem to shake the label "extremist." So it is with archaea (ar-KEY-uh), a collection of bacteria-like microorganisms whose unique genetics and chemical structure separate them from all other living things. For years, biologists have pigeonholed archaea as extremophiles, creatures that live in extreme conditions. Indeed, many species of archaea thrive in environments that would kill other organisms, from Yellowstone hot springs...

Word of the Day
  • A fudgelike confection of brown sugar, cream or milk, and chopped nuts.
'Penuche' is a variant of 'panocha,' a coarse grade of sugar made in Mexico. 'Panocha' probably comes from the Spanish 'panoja, panocha,' ear of grain.