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 (1720 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, created to facilitate research to address fundamental questions in evolutionary science. He has conducted deep-sea research for 11 years and published over 40 papers in the area. He has participated in dozens of expeditions taking him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses mainly on marine systems and particularly the biology of body size, biodiversity, and energy flow. He focuses often on deep-sea systems as a natural test of the consequences of energy limitation on biological systems. He is the author and chief editor of Deep-Sea News, a popular deep-sea themed blog, rated the number one ocean blog on the web and winner of numerous awards. Craig’s popular writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

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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