Skepticism, Medicine and Science News

New, cool bacterium

A new bacterium was just discovered in the Mponeng goldmine in South Africa. It has been named Candidatus Desulforudis audaxviator , and the really interesting thing about it is that it lives in a community of only one species, which is extremely unusual. Another interesting bit is how it gets its energy. 

Oxygen is toxic to it, so instead it uses the radioactive decay of uranium in the surrounding rocks to provide it with energy. It gets carbon from dissolved carbon dioxide, and nitrogen from the surrounding rocks. It has got a lot of attention from astrobiologists because it represent a kind of bacteria that can be able to live beneath the ground on Mars, and on Enceladus, one of Saturns moons.


October 10, 2008 - Posted by | Biology | , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Mars and Venus have radioactivity. Could this bacterium survive if planted underground on these planets?

    Comment by john | November 8, 2008 | Reply

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