12/04/2012 - 11:09

Researchers have made a genetic analysis of the microbes living deep inside a deposit of Marcellus Shale at a hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” site, and uncovered some surprises. They expected to find many tough microbes suited to extreme environments, such as those that derive from archaea, a domain of single-celled species sometimes found in high-salt environments, volcanoes, or hot springs. Instead, they found very few genetic biomarkers for archaea, and many more for species that derive from bacteria.

03/12/2012 - 14:30

A team of scientists has documented for the first time that animals can and do consume Archaea – a type of single-celled microorganism thought to be among the most abundant life forms on Earth. Archaea that consume the greenhouse gas methane were in turn eaten by worms living at deep-sea cold seeps off Costa Rica and the West Coast of the United States. Archaea perform many key ecosystem services including being involved with nitrogen cycling, and they are known to be the main mechanism by which marine methane is kept out of the atmosphere.

07/06/2011 - 07:16

Energy-storage capacity of ancient microorganism could lead to power source for synthetic cells. Robert Gunsalus, a UCLA professor of microbiology has shown for the first time that a type of Archaea known as Methanosprillum hungatei contains incredibly efficient energy-storage structures.