Extremophiles Essay

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As many know, there are places on this earth where conditions are too inhospitable for humans to live. There are places with skull crushing depths, boiling water and high methane concentrations, where no human could survive. Survival in such hostile conditions was thought to be impossible for any organism; until the late 1960’s when bacterial microorganisms were found living in scalding thermal environments above 70 degrees Celsius, in Yellowstone National Park (Madigan & Marrs, 1997). These microorganisms were later termed extremophiles for their “love” of environments that are too hostile for other organisms to tolerate. Therefore, the capabilities and differences among extremophiles deserves a thorough investigation compared to the most adaptable species on the planet, humans.…show more content…
Although the evolutionary tree of extremophiles includes bacteria, archaea and eukarya, very few eukaryotes are extremophiles. Table 1 shows some extremophiles that are eukaryotic but also ones that are prokaryotic. Some of the listed eukaryotic extremophiles include but are not limited to the following: insects, fungi, lichens, and nematodes. Obviously, extremophiles are organisms that thrive in and rely on extreme environments to grow. However, to have a sense of what extreme is, scientists use human environments and tolerances to set a baseline for what ‘extreme’ is. Anything outside the parameters for human normality is considered extreme (Cavicchioli & Thomas,
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