WissenschafterInnen um den Biologen Simon Rittmann von der Universität Wien gingen der Frage nach, ob mikrobielles Leben, wie wir es von der Erde her kennen, auch auf anderen Himmelskörpern möglich ist – konkret auf dem Saturnmond Enceladus, der einen unterirdischen Wasserozean hat. Dazu verwendeten sie Mikroorganismen aus der Gruppe der Archaea, da diese Wasserstoff und Kohlendioxid verstoffwechseln sowie hohe Temperaturen und Druck aushalten können, wie sie auf Enceladus vermutet werden. (more…)
Tag Archives: archaea
Berkeley Lab study on human skin microbiome finds archaea abundance associated with age
It turns out your skin is crawling with single-celled microorganisms – and they’re not just bacteria. A study by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the Medical University of Graz has found that the skin microbiome also contains archaea, a type of extreme-loving microbe, and that the amount of it varies with age. (more…)
Die Tiroler Hundalm Eis- und Tropfsteinhöhle birgt Vorkommen der so genannten „Mondmilch“. Diese für Karstgebiete typische, weißliche Höhlenablagerung wird von Millionen von Mikroorganismen besiedelt, deren Funktion bis heute nur lückenhaft geklärt ist. Christoph Reitschuler vom Institut für Mikrobiologie ist in einem vom TWF geförderten Projekt dem Leben in Mondmilch auf der Spur. (more…)
In the perpetual darkness of a limestone cave, UA researchers have discovered a surprisingly diverse ecosystem of microbes eking out a living from not much more than drip water, rock and air. The discovery not only expands our understanding of how microbes manage to colonize every niche on the planet but also could lead to applications ranging from environmental cleanup solutions to drug development.
Hidden underneath the hilly grasslands studded with ocotillos and mesquite trees in southeastern Arizona lies a world shrouded in perpetual darkness: Kartchner Caverns, a limestone cave system renowned for its untouched cave formations, sculpted over millennia by groundwater dissolving the bedrock and carving out underground rooms, and passages that attract tourists from all over the world. (more…)
The deep biosphere—the realm of sediments far below the seafloor—harbors a vast ecosystem of bacteria, archaea, and fungi that are actively metabolizing, proliferating, and moving, according a new study by scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the University of Delaware (UD).
“This is the first molecular evidence for active cell division in the deep biosphere,” says WHOI postdoctoral investigator Bill Orsi, who was the lead author on the study. Previous studies and models had suggested cells were alive, but whether the cells were actually dividing or not had remained elusive. (more…)
Understanding microbe communities could improve wetland wastewater treatment systems
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Wetlands serve as the Earth’s kidneys. They filter and clean people’s water supplies while serving as important habitat for many species, including iconic species like cattails, cranes and alligators. Conventional ecosystem health assessments have focused on populations of these larger species. However, the tiny, unseen creatures in the wetlands provided crucial indicators of the ecosystems’ health in a study by University of Missouri Associate Professor of Engineering Zhiqiang Hu and his team. Using analysis of the microbiological health of wetlands is cheaper and faster than traditional assessments, and could lead to improvements in harnessing natural processes to filter humans’ wastewater.
“During road and building construction, engineers must sacrifice wetlands to development, but laws dictate that these lost wetlands be compensated for by establishing a wetland somewhere else,” said Hu. “Our research could be applied to both monitor the success of these compensation wetlands and guide conservationists in inoculating new engineered ecosystems with the correct types of microorganisms.” (more…)
Scientists from Berkeley Lab and the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology analyze a unique microbial motor
The protein structure of the motor that propels archaea has been characterized for the first time by a team of scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and Germany’s Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Terrestrial Microbiology.
The motility structure of this third domain of life has long been called a flagellum, a whip-like filament that, like the well-studied bacterial flagellum, rotates like a propeller. But although the archaeal structure has a similar function, it is so profoundly different in structure, genetics, and evolution that the researchers argue it deserves its own name: archaellum. (more…)
New research shows fungi living beneath the seafloor are widespread
Fungi living beneath the seafloor are widespread in ocean environments around the world, according to a new paper by scientists at the University of Delaware and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.