Recently in the Extremeophiles and Extreme Environments Category


Tardigrades, also known as water bears, are a diverse group of charismatic microscopic invertebrates that are best known for their ability to survive extreme conditions.

Thomas Pesquet: It's time for lunch, water bears! I took my turn feeding the tardigrades. Fun fact: they have a two-week reproduction cycle, so we are now hosting three generations of them! A whole family tree of space-borne tardigrades!

A hair-like protein hidden inside bacteria serves as a sort of on-off switch for nature's "electric grid," a global web of bacteria-generated nanowires that permeates all oxygen-less soil and deep ocean beds, Yale researchers report in the journal Nature.

Micro-organisms persisting deep below the seafloor for millions of years continue to evolve despite living at the energy limit to life.

Pioneering research has revealed the erosion of ancient sediments found deep beneath Antarctic ice could be a vital and previously unknown source of nutrients and energy for abundant microbial life.

U.S. National Science Foundation-funded researchers have discovered ethane-degrading microbes at hydrothermal vents in the Gulf of California's Guaymas Basin at a water depth of 2,000 meters. The results are published in the journal Science.

For most organisms, the stresses associated with spaceflight cause a variety of detrimental health effects. To foster a safe and productive long-term human presence in space, therapies and countermeasures to spaceflight-induced stress need to be developed. Tardigrades (water bears) are evolved to tolerate multiple extreme environments (polyextremophiles) restrictive to most life.

Bdelloid rotifers are multicellular animals so small you need a microscope to see them. Despite their size, they're known for being tough, capable of surviving through drying, freezing, starvation, and low oxygen.

It's cold in the depths of the world's oceans; most of the seafloor is at a chilly 4°C. Not so the seafloor of Guaymas Basin in the Gulf of California.

A diverse microbial community has adapted to an extremely salty environment deep in the Red Sea. The microbes, many unknown to science, occupy a one-meter-thick area overlying the Suakin Deep, an expansive 80-meter-deep brine lake, 2,771 meters below the central Red Sea.