Dec 24, 2006

world's smallest microbes?

The search for life outside the universe may have widened again.
Four million of a newly discovered microbe — assuming the discovery, reported yesterday in the journal Science, is confirmed — could fit into the period at the end of this sentence.

Scientists found the microbes living in a remarkably inhospitable environment, drainage water as caustic as battery acid from a mine in Northern California. The microbes, members of an ancient family of organisms known as archaea, formed a pink scum on green pools of hot mine water laden with toxic metals, including arsenic.
Life crops up where you least expect it, with the persistence of unwanted hair.

[Link via Helmut]

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