The limits of life on Earth still rejected



France - A new species of archaebacteria, living in an environment ranging from 85 to 105 ° C and able to divide at a pressure of more than 1 000 times greater than atmospheric pressure, has been discovered by the Microbiology Laboratory Microbiology of extreme environments.

Research on extremophiles, these species are unique to live in conditions that kill most other organisms, revealing new "worlds to explore, all very promising. Forms of life unimaginable a priori they host shows that the inventory of all species on Earth is far from finished. They also illustrate the remarkable adaptability of living, it seems, could exist on planets with environmental conditions at first sight incompatible with life.

Discovery on a site located at 4100 meters deep, Pyrococcus CH1 lives between 85 and 105 ° C with an optimum of 98 ° C and is divided between 150 and 1200 bars of hydrostatic pressure, 520 bars pressure is optimum. This discovery once again pushes the physico-chemical limits of life on Earth and supports the idea of the existence of a hyper-thermophilic biosphere in the depths of our planet.

From a practical viewpoint, the discovery of micro-organisms of this type can be valuable because of the extreme conditions in which they grow, their enzymes are heat stable and able to operate in reactors under pressure. They can therefore be used in industrial processes, where some steps require temperatures and high pressures, particularly for obtaining products with high added value, from today to fine chemicals.

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