Microbial life in extremely hot environments gas urban dictionary

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Grand Prismatic, located in the Midway Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park, is the largest hot spring in the park and the third largest in the world. Only hyperthermophilic bacteria and archaea are able to live in the nearly boiling water of this hot spring. Extensive orange and brown microbial mats radiate from the pool. NPS photo taken by J. Schmidt courtesy of the Yellowstone Digital Slide File.

All thermophiles require a hot water environment, but some thrive in more than one extreme, such as those with high levels of sulfur or calcium carbonate, acidic water, or alkaline springs. What enables an organism to thrive in habitats where the temperature is sometimes as hot as 140 degrees C (284 degrees F)? Regardless of varying environmental conditions, the ability of thermophiles to thrive in extremely hot environments lies in extremozymes, enzymes geared to work in extremely high temperatures. The amino acids of these extremozymes have special tricks to retain their twisted and folded 3D structures in high heat, where other enzymes would unfold and no longer work.

Soon after their discovery, the heat-stable enzymes of thermophiles proved to be very important to the field of biotechnology ( This site may be offline.) . For example, two thermophilic species Thermus aquaticus and Thermococcus litoralis are used as sources of the enzyme DNA polymerase, for the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in DNA fingerprinting. As thermophiles have become increasingly important in biotechnological research, the number of bioprospecting groups searching for useful organic compounds in nature have dramatically increased as well. Consequently, concerns over preservation of biodiversity and natural resources as well as profitting research results have given way to benefits-sharing agreements ( more info) , such as the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement between Yellowstone National Park and the Diversa Corporation.

Grand Prismatic, located in the Midway Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park, is the largest hot spring in the park and the third largest in the world. Only hyperthermophilic bacteria and archaea are able to live in the nearly boiling water of this hot spring. Extensive orange and brown microbial mats radiate from the pool. NPS photo taken by J. Schmidt courtesy of the Yellowstone Digital Slide File.

All thermophiles require a hot water environment, but some thrive in more than one extreme, such as those with high levels of sulfur or calcium carbonate, acidic water, or alkaline springs. What enables an organism to thrive in habitats where the temperature is sometimes as hot as 140 degrees C (284 degrees F)? Regardless of varying environmental conditions, the ability of thermophiles to thrive in extremely hot environments lies in extremozymes, enzymes geared to work in extremely high temperatures. The amino acids of these extremozymes have special tricks to retain their twisted and folded 3D structures in high heat, where other enzymes would unfold and no longer work.

Soon after their discovery, the heat-stable enzymes of thermophiles proved to be very important to the field of biotechnology ( This site may be offline.) . For example, two thermophilic species Thermus aquaticus and Thermococcus litoralis are used as sources of the enzyme DNA polymerase, for the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in DNA fingerprinting. As thermophiles have become increasingly important in biotechnological research, the number of bioprospecting groups searching for useful organic compounds in nature have dramatically increased as well. Consequently, concerns over preservation of biodiversity and natural resources as well as profitting research results have given way to benefits-sharing agreements ( more info) , such as the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement between Yellowstone National Park and the Diversa Corporation.