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Author: Subject: Organisms growing at unusual (incredible) conditions
stricnine
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[*] posted on 10-11-2006 at 05:31


Check out for acid mine drainage (AMD)



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[*] posted on 11-11-2006 at 07:29


Freely translated from a Dutch magazine for chemists,

Bacteria that live off radiation,
In a South African goldmine at a depth of 2.8 km a bacterial population was found that gets its energy from radioactive uranium ore. The radiation cleaves watermolecules and forms sulphates from sulfur containing minerals. Bacteria from the species called Firmicutes extract their energy from the reaction between sulphate and hydrogen. The substances excreted by these bacteria sustain a range of other bacteria. These micro organisms were found in water that seeps into the mine through a fissure in the rocks. Comparison of the DNA found in the bacteria hints that they might have been cut off from the outside world for as little as 3 million or as much as 25 million years.

That's pretty cool, that means there are bacteria that can sustain use dosages of radiation and actively use this energy, it's not surprising that such bacteria exist but still! They must have DNA repair mechanisms that are far more effective than ours. It might be interesting to determine these mechanisms, imagine having that DNA incorporated into your own! The potential to live free of cancer would certainly enhance life expectancy enormously!




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[*] posted on 13-11-2006 at 18:16


No kidding!

On further thought the organism I was referring to was Deinococcus radiodurans; this crazy thing can survive 15,000 *gray*. Is this the microorganism found in the U ore in Africa? Remember, in Oklo (Gabon) there was ore of sufficient quantity and quality, with flowing groundwater. The water served as a nice moderator, and a critical assembly operated transiently for millions of years (in nature!, this probably happened in the Black hills of South Dakota, as well, where I found a mineral with a 235U abundance of significantly less than 0.75% with the whole McMillan-Ableson Neptunium series--and, the 239Pu you would also expect). I'd expect to find these types of extremophiles in loci such has this.

Crazy to think how this is possible. One would have to consider that DNA repair such as this could lead to virtually immortal genomic materials; this might be a problem since the repair is not always perfect. I'm still lost on what these buggers are eating, though (particularly since growing them is complicated).

Please see:

http://science.nasa.gov/NEWHOME/headlines/ast14dec99_1.htm

an EM shot:
http://www.usuhs.mil/pat/deinococcus/index_20.htm

Of course, http://www.microbeworld.org/ is a cool site. AND: http://microbewiki.kenyon.edu/index.php/Deinococcus which has some nice references.

I'm a Chemist, but this is cool stuff! "Conan the bacterium" Yeh!

Cheers,

O3




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[*] posted on 9-4-2008 at 02:42


Quote:
Originally posted by The_Davster
I had a weird mould/fungus grow on the top of the gelatin solution when experimenting with leduc plants, it appeared in the testtube the 'plant' was grow in after a few months despite saran wrap being tighty over the tube. Also years ago had a mould grow on a KNO3/sugar solution that I had left to evaporate.

I remember making Leduc plants as a kid in the old country. I'd like to do it again, but where do I get potassium ferrocyanide?




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[*] posted on 8-5-2008 at 12:57


Quite recently on a whim I decided to attempt a simple (elementary school) culturing technique with one important modification--Sodium Silicate. I took some sucrose, dissolved it in the sodium silicate, and applied to a bit of white bread in a petri dish, I then breathed on it, vigorously. The petri dish was then sealed. After a day or so, growth did occur of one organism only: a peach colored one that grew predominantly along the bottom of the bread, and somewhat away from the bread onto the plastic of the petri dish.

Then something even more interesting happened, the entire dish dried up. No water vapor, nor liquid at all. While keeping the dish closed, I picked it up, and at some point the price of bread and the bacteria/fungus dislodged from the dish and slid down to a side wall, where to my surprise, the edge of the bacteria's colony 'clicked' against the plastic. It was quite hard, and did not chip in the least despite a bit more aggressive testing. The bacteria on the underside of the bread were also quite glassy.

[Edited on 5-8-2008 by ShadowWarrior4444]




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[*] posted on 8-5-2008 at 13:40


Crystalline bacteria? Are they eating rubber seals? :P

[Edited on 8-5-2008 by Nixie]




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[*] posted on 8-5-2008 at 13:51


Quote:
Originally posted by Nixie
Crystalline bacteria? Are they eating rubber seals? :P

[Edited on 8-5-2008 by Nixie]


Well, they appear to be dead/dormant at the moment, due to the lack of water. Actually, they most strongly reminded me of the Sand Trout in Dune (Frank Herbert), on account of them seemingly "sequestering" all the water.




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[*] posted on 9-5-2008 at 13:49


organisms (bacteria, fungi) grow in the hot springs at Yellowstone.

around the fumorols at depth in the sea

is life predicated on carbon use? never gave it too much thought before. guess so.....




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[*] posted on 9-5-2008 at 14:21


Quote:
Originally posted by jimwig
organisms (bacteria, fungi) grow in the hot springs at Yellowstone.

around the fumorols at depth in the sea

is life predicated on carbon use? never gave it too much thought before. guess so.....


There are some theories on very early Iron-Sulfur life forms over deep geothermal vents in the ocean, however for the most part terrestrial life is carbon based.




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[*] posted on 9-5-2008 at 17:12


Come on, without carbon no life is possible. No conditions we know of here on earth would facilitate complex (I mean complex as in living things) chemistry without carbon. In fact I'd wager strong doubts as to whether any carbon-free life is possibly under *any* conditions!
But perhaps Europa will prove us otherwise, or perhaps ET life in a few hundred years time...

From what I remember,
Deinococcus Radiodurans (I gave a talk about that one once) achieves this radiation resistance by having multiple (not just one, as usual for bacteria) copies of the bacterial genome, and it has a certain mechanism for copying intact pieces of DNA into corrupted DNA , thus constantly fixing and backup-ing the data. I'll have a look in my files and see if I can find the presentation.




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[*] posted on 9-5-2008 at 21:39


Quote:
Originally posted by chemoleoIn fact I'd wager strong doubts as to whether any carbon-free life is possibly under *any* conditions!

I remember a suggestion that under extremely high pressure silicon-based complex life may be possible (i.e. the hard surface on gas giants that have solid cores). Radioactive decay as energy source. Pretty extreme but hey, you never know. Another one was if complex configurations of nucleons could exist under the extreme gravity of some layers of a neutron star, then you could speculate that life might evolve and its processes would run orders of magnitude faster than molecular life.

[Edit:] There's a discussion about scientists considering silicon life here: http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/S/siliconlife.html

[Edit:] Apparently, even plasma has been seriously considered: http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/P/plasma-based_lif...

[Edited on 9-5-2008 by Nixie]




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[*] posted on 9-5-2008 at 23:48


Quote:
Originally posted by chemoleo
I was absolutely amazed by it. I now am culturing them in a separate container, lets hope they continue growing; if they do I will have a look at them under a microscope. Pictures to follow at some point.


Wow, you've got balls to culture them. If in doubt, throw it out :P




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[*] posted on 9-5-2008 at 23:59


I'd expect chances some random bacteria are pathogenic are low.



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[*] posted on 10-5-2008 at 15:25


Since you gave a presentation on D. radiodurans, you probably know it was discovered by a guy who found them in a spoiled can of food (which is sterilized by irradiating). Other people may have had spoiled cans of food before, but he was clever and asked the right question. Similarly, you may have discovered a previously unkown organism in your CuSO4 tank, which hasn't been discovered any earlier because (1) not many people keep large volumes of CuSO4 around, and (2) nobody had the required curiosity and/or bothered to check whether the stuff floating in their tank was an unusual organism. A mycologist friend's friend discovered a previously unknown fungus in a plant pot in his house on a rainy saturday afternoon, just because he had nothing to do and decided to look at the soil with his microscope, just to kill some time.

My point is, if you do actually manage to culture it, go see someone who can identify it for you and check if it is a known organism. You never know! This type of bacteria might be useful, for instance for recovering metals from ore or cleaning up contamined soil.




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[*] posted on 4-6-2008 at 13:35


Thermophile's.... Organisms that grow at high temperatures. Never cease to amaze me where they pop up!

[Edited on 5-6-2008 by sbovisjb1]




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[*] posted on 4-6-2008 at 13:46


Quote:
Originally posted by sbovisjb1
Thermopile's

Thanks for the good laugh!

"A thermopile is an electronic device that converts thermal energy into electrical energy. It is composed of thermocouples either connected in series or in parallel."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermopile

Don't know about them growing in warm places :X

Thermophiles, on the other hand...

[Edited on 4-6-2008 by Nixie]




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[*] posted on 4-6-2008 at 16:20


;):D:P Ooops. That proves that the devil is in the details....:)



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[*] posted on 6-6-2008 at 22:00


Water bears can survive some pretty crazy stuff.


"They can survive temperatures close to absolute zero, temperatures as high as 151°C (303°F), 1,000 times more radiation than any other animal, nearly a decade without water, and can also survive in a vacuum like that found in space."

[url=]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tardigrada[/url]

[Edited on 6-6-2008 by crazyboy]

[Edited on 6-6-2008 by crazyboy]




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[*] posted on 29-9-2008 at 17:50
Mould


I lifted the lip recently on a 20L bucket about 2/3 full of a slop containing caustic, dextrose, water, silver, silver ions, copper, copper ions, iron, iron ions and heaps of other crap that i had set aside to 'deal with later' after i realised i hadn't managed to extract all the silver from the solution with the dextrose/caustic treatment. It was a turbid black ph~13-14 muck.
So i was shocked to find a very active mould on the surface (isn't silver supposed to be a fungicide). The bucket wasn't sealed but was covered, it was so strange i have not removed it, rather I keep it as show and tell item, visually it appears not to have advanced since i first noticed it some 2 months ago. The bucket had been standing for some 6months. I work in a lab next to a distillery that distills wine so there's plenty of moulds and yeasts around but wine yeasts are a tad more sensitive than anything that grew in this bucket eating i assume the small concentration of dextrose in the solution.

30-09-08_113725.jpg - 36kB




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[*] posted on 29-9-2008 at 17:52
from previous thread


more photos, for some reason i can only attach one at a time

[Edited on 29-9-2008 by Panache]

[Edited on 29-9-2008 by Panache]

[Edited on 29-9-2008 by Panache]

30-09-08_113743.jpg - 35kB




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[*] posted on 29-9-2008 at 21:12


Are you sure it's a mold and not gas? (Gas from what I don't know, CO2 will certainly remain in solution...) Does it grow back if you skim it off, possibly adding more dextrose?

Tim




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[*] posted on 29-9-2008 at 21:19


Strange, this photo reminds me of something but I can't figure out what.



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[*] posted on 30-9-2008 at 04:00


I sometimes fry things when cooking, like a party event, and decant and keep the oil for re-use. I was amazed to find an active colony of mould or some such occupying the bottom of a full glass of oil! no doubt where the energy comes from, it just surprised me that it could be anaerobic.

Never again will I save oil for cooking!




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[*] posted on 30-9-2008 at 06:34


Maybe it was eating oxidized oil? :o

Rancid oil is nasty shit...

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[*] posted on 30-9-2008 at 20:15


Quote:
Originally posted by 12AX7
Are you sure it's a mold and not gas? (Gas from what I don't know, CO2 will certainly remain in solution...) Does it grow back if you skim it off, possibly adding more dextrose?

Tim


I know the photos are tres crappy but didn't think they were that crappy. It's definitely a mould thick wrinkled fuzzy green, funnily silver powder pools around the mould as the solution is so dense it floats, wonder if the mould was responsible for that workup of silver ions.
Today is D-day for the mould's int he bucket though and i will be trying to extarct the remainder of the silver with more dextrose caustic so i'll leave it again and see if they reappear.
How does one identify a mould? If the answer is really long then just post a link to a any decent explanation you know of.
Also since we are in 'bio', what are those biochemistry flasks, that are an Erlenmeyer/conical, however they have a sealed glass tube running out the side of them near the bottom. they must be a bitch to clean. they sure are annoying to stack, however the tube on the side makes a great handle for hurling them at great speeds across the room.




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