Clara Chan/UC Berkeley
Acidophilic microbes thrive in this biofilm growing inside an abandoned mine at Iron Mountain, Calif. The microbes metabolism creates highly toxic acid mine drainage, a major environmental problem associated with the mining of coal and uranium.
Clara Chan/UC Berkeley
Close-up view of biofilm growing onto the water from the pyrite surface of the Richmond mine.
When humans gather in communities, they specialize and adapt. Farmers grow crops and raise animals for food based on the area’s climate and soil. Builders fashion structures engineered to keep their inhabitants warm in winter and cool in summer. Physicians tend to the sick; police and firefighters protect the public.
Communities of microorganisms, researchers are finding, exhibit very similar behavior – genetically evolving, specializing and cooperating in ways that allow them to adapt to extreme conditions of temperature, acidity, toxicity and pressure.
In the first comprehensive study of gene expression in a microbial community from an “extreme” natural environment, scientists from Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge national laboratories, the University of California, Berkeley, and Xavier University in New Orleans have identified more than 2,000 proteins produced by five key species in the community. More than 500 of the proteins – chains of amino acids linked together in an order specified by a gene’s DNA sequence – appear to be unique to the community, which thrives in hot, highly acidic conditions in an Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site at an abandoned mine at Iron Mountain, Calif. A report on the research, “Community Proteomics of a Natural Microbial Biofilm,” appears online today in Science Express.
Charlie Osolin | EurekAlert!
A Map of the Cell’s Power Station
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections
18.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
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