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.

Heat-resistant enzymes could produce more cost-effective drugs

A new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences could change the way scientists look at one of the most essential enzymes in medicine in hopes of designing better and more cost-effective drugs in ...

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 ...

Did life begin on land rather than in the sea?

For three years, Tara Djokic, a Ph.D. student at the University of New South Wales Sydney, scoured the forbidding landscape of the Pilbara region of Western Australia looking for clues to how ancient microbes could have produced ...

Bacteria from hot springs solve mystery of metabolism

Combustion is often a rapid process, as in the case of fire. How can cells control the burning process so well? The question has long puzzled researchers. Using bacteria from hot springs, researchers from Stockholm University ...

How to build an artificial nano-factory to power our futures

Many bacteria contain little factories for different purposes. They can make sugars from carbon dioxide to fuel life, or digest certain compounds that would be toxic for the cell, if the digestion took place outside of these ...

Lack of oxygen not a showstopper for life

The hot springs of Yellowstone National Park may be extreme environments, but they are host to a diversity of microbes that could shed light on the evolution of life on Earth and, perhaps, what lurks on distant planets.

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