Monday, March 2, 2015

Ultra-tiny, Ultra-small Bacteria Believed to be Minutest Biolife Recorded and to Survive

""These newly described ultra-small bacteria are an example of a subset of the microbial life on Earth that we know almost nothing about,” said Prof Banfield, who is the senior author of a paper published in the journal Nature Communications.

“They’re enigmatic. These bacteria are detected in many environments and they probably play important roles in microbial communities and ecosystems. But we don’t yet fully understand what these ultra-small bacteria do.”

The existence of ultra-small bacteria has been debated for more than twenty years, but there hasn’t been a comprehensive electron microscopy and DNA-based description of the microbes until now.

The newly-discovered ultra-small bacteria, which belong to WWE3, OP11, and OD1 microbial phyla, have an average volume of 0.009 cubic microns.

They were found in groundwater collected at Rifle, Colorado, and are thought to be quite common.

They are also quite odd, which isn’t a surprise given the cells are close to and in some cases smaller than several estimates for the lower size limit of life.

This is the smallest a cell can be and still accommodate enough material to sustain life.""

Nobody is smaller, get it?

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