With no meal for 86 million years, and barely enough oxygen to sustain metabolism, can a single-celled organism really be considered alive? Yes, but only just, according to a new study. A microbial community buried under the ocean floor since the mid-Jurassic era is still hanging on. Their tenacity could pose some interesting questions for the hunt for alien life.
By Sean KanePosted 12.05.2011 at 3:15 pm 3 Comments
A species of deep sea crab, named, as more things should be, after the Himalayan snow monster, grows its own food...on its body. The crab, part farmer and part farm, raises cultures of extremophile bacteria on its claws, and then harvests its meals.
A newly described species of bacteria has joined the ranks of those of us who depend on caffeine for survival. The little microbe, Pseudomonas putida, uses specialized enzymes to break the precious compound into carbon dioxide and ammonia, scientists say.
Nearly four billion years ago, the Earth was pummeled by asteroids -- some as large as the state of Kansas -- during an episode known as the "Late Heavy Bombardment." Now, scientists believe that bombardment phase may have jump-started early microbial life. The results also lend support to the possibility of extreme microbial life on other planets like Mars, and perhaps even on Earth-like planets in other solar systems that may have undergone similar bombardment phases.
The McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica are one of the last places on Earth you would expect to find a new living organism. With bitter cold temperatures and only about four inches of annual snowfall, scientists consider these valleys to be one of Earth's most extreme and harsh environments.
The region was believed to be devoid of complex animal and plant life, but a new study has revealed that an unusual microbial life form lives under the Taylor Glacier -- an outlet glacier that drains part of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet and terminates in the Dry Valleys.
A massive amount of our planet's vegetation is a single species of bacteria-like organisms, new research uncovers
By Sam BarrettPosted 07.23.2008 at 4:40 pm 2 Comments
Ninety billion tons, nearly one-tenth of Earth's biomass, is made up of microbes living beneath the sea floor, according to two studies appearing this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Nature.
People don't usually become scientists expecting fame, glory or to have a line of sneakers named after them. But we at Popular Science believe that scientists are the true celebrities of our time. Their contributions enhance our lives and stretch our imaginations. For the fourth year running, we conducted a rigorous search to identify some of the most dynamic, promising young researchers at institutions around North America.