Cute Little Things by Christina Kellogg

littledevilblob.jpgWho says microbes can’t be adorable and charismatic? Just look at this cute little devil! This recently identified deep-sea thermoacidophile accounts for about 15% of the archaeal population around hydrothermal vents. That’s right, it can grow at temperatures between 55 and 75 degrees C and over a pH range of 3.3 to 5.8 and look precious doing it. These archaea may be playing a key role in iron and sulphur cycling at hydrothermal vents. The bug’s provisional name is Aciduliprofundum boonei, but its common name is ‘little devil blob.’ I personally think that Peter should dress up his new baby as this for Halloween…it’s WAY more interesting than the bat, cow, and pumpkin baby costumes that are available. And you can’t tell me this isn’t an excellent candidate for the plush microbe series…if they can make ebola, the black plague, and flesh-eating bacteria huggable, this one’s a no-brainer.

Citation: A.L. Reysenbach et al. (2006). A ubiquitous thermoacidophilic archaeon from deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Nature 442: 444-447.

Abstract link:

Image credits: ‘Little devil blob’ image courtesy Terry Beveridge, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada (used with permission).
Giant Microbes image

Dr. M (1729 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, a National Science Foundation supported initiative. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web. His forthcoming book, Science of the South (, connects cultural icons of South such as pecan pie with the science behind them.

2 comments on “Cute Little Things by Christina Kellogg
  1. You know about commercial applications in reduction of sludge from the waste water plants using of archaea?

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