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Living at extremes

22.02.2005


Extremophiles are microbes that live in conditions that other creatures can’t. Most archaea, some bacteria and a few protists are able to survive in the harshest environments; colder than ice and hotter than steam; environments without light or without water and environments of great physical or osmotic pressure. This issue looks at how Extremophiles are able survive and what we can learn from them.



The February issue also contains the Biochemical Society’s Graduate Employment Survey - with some surprising results.

Living Hell
By Kazem Kashefi


Modern hot environments, such as hydrothermal vents, are of great interest because they resemble the ancient conditions in which life first arose on Earth; they also share many characteristics with environments on other planets where life may have once existed.

Life in frozen veins
By David N. Thomas and Thomas Mock
Ice made from seawater is a porous, semi-solid matrix permeated by a labyrinth of brine channels and pores, home to a diverse microbial assemblage of viruses, archaea, bacteria, flagellates and algae.

Promiscuity in the Archaea
By Michael J. Danson and David W. Hough
The Archaea are seen as a potential source of hyperstable enzymes with novel catalytic activities.

Cholera: Killer from the deep
By Rita R. Colwell
The requirement of Vibrio cholerae for salt to grow points to the sea as its ancestral home is the sea, perhaps a deep-sea vent.

Cures from the ends of the earth
By Professor Jenny Littlechild (Exeter)
Enzymes that are naturally found in thermophilic and hyperthermophilic organisms are being used as robust biocatalysts in the fine chemical and pharmaceutical industries.

Contamination: the scourge of cell cultures worldwide
by Paul Whitehead, ELGA LabWater

Science and Society
People are waking up to the threat of the animal rights movement
By Simon Festing
"There are some people who have so little understanding of research, or such strange or fixed views, that we will never reach them."

OTHER ARTICLES:
Letter from Portugal

Obituary - June Lascelles (1924-2004)

Mark Burgess | alfa
Further information:
http://www.biochemist.org

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