Related topics: bacteria

Marine extremophiles: The basal level of the food chain

In nutrient-poor deep-sea sediments, microbes belonging to Archaea have outcompeted bacterial microorganisms for millions of years. Efficiently scavenging dead cells makes them the basal producers in the food chain.

The expanding universe of methane metabolisms in archaea

Methane is a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Billions of years ago, methane-producing archaea likely played a key role in determining the composition of the Earth's atmosphere and regulating the global ...

New key players in the methane cycle

Methane is not only a powerful greenhouse gas, but also a source of energy. Microorganisms therefore use it for their metabolism. They do so much more frequently and in more ways than was previously assumed, as revealed by ...

Key players in the marine nitrogen cycle use cyanate and urea

The ammonia oxidizing archaea, or Thaumarchaeota, are among the most abundant marine microorganisms. Yet, scientists are still discovering which factors allow them to thrive in the ocean. A research team from the Max Planck ...

A microbe's membrane helps it survive extreme environments

Within harsh environments like hot springs, volcanic craters and deep-sea hydrothermal vents – uninhabitable by most life forms – microscopic organisms are thriving. How? It's all in how they wrap themselves.

Getting out of hot water—does mobile DNA help?

Extremophiles—hardy organisms living in places that would kill most life on Earth—provide fascinating insights into evolution, metabolism and even possible extraterrestrial life. A new study provides insights into how ...

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