another really old cell

23 Dec

apparently these scientists get a kick out of growing cells that are tens of thousands of yrs old. i mean, who wouldnt!

these archea (a type of microbe) were cultured from liquids in salt crystals that were dated back to over 30000 yrs ago. surviving minimally by feeding on whatever little algae that got stuck during the process of salt crystallisation. so while they said that the microbes survived on algal remains, i wondered how such little food can sustain an organism for so long.

it seems that this particular algae, Dunaliella, has got enough glycerol to provide one microbe for 12 million years, maximum.

12 million yrs. one microbe. thats alot of food to last a really long time. and that also means, alot more microbes might be around for us to discover.

these microbes are archeans that are microorganisms which survive in extreme temperatures. somewhat like extremophiles. but, it seems like there are extremophiles in bacteria as well as archeans.

so whats the difference between extremophiles and archeans?

1. it boils down to a a totally different genetic make up, too far away from normal bacterial genome. this results in their cell membrane being made up of different molecules, their flagella being made up of different molecules and having a different internal structure. hence, classified as a different group of organisms.

2. and archeans can survive in high saline conditions, which would normally suck the organism dry through sheer osmosis.

3. archeans have more varieties of shapes compared to the normal rod/cone/spiral shaped bacteria

4. or just maybe the fact that extremophiles are not just unicellular organisms. but also multicellular, like this pompeii worm…


here’s the other cell that was 120000 yrs old!

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Posted by on December 23, 2009 in i-Bio


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