Extremeophiles and Extreme Environments: June 2008

Researchers from NAI's Penn State Team announced at the American Society of Microbiology General Meeting in Boston their discovery of a novel species of ultra-small bacteria that has survived for more than 120,000 years within the ice of a Greenland glacier at a depth of nearly two miles. The species is related genetically to certain bacteria found in fish, marine mud, and the roots of some plants, yet it has persisted in a low-temperature, high-pressure, reduced-oxygen, and nutrient-poor habitat. The study's authors speculate that it's unusual size helped enable it's survival in the ice for so long. [Source: NAI Newsletter]