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Extremophiles

Extremophiles

The term extremophiles is applied to groups of microorganisms that live and thrive in places where most living creatures could not survive.Extremophiles can be grouped into two categories; Bacteria, simple celled creatures whose cells lack a nucleus, and eukarya, whose cells are more complex.The habitats of extremophiles include a wide range of environments each containing its own unique creature specially adapted to that particular place.Each of those groups has a lot of commercial and scientific value that scientists are exploring eagerly.
Thefirst group of extremophiles is the Thermophiles.By definition these are microbes that thrive in very hot environments.To be considered an extremophile in this type environment, the microbe needs to be able to thrive and reproduce in temperatures in excesses of 45 degrees Celsius.There is a second class of thermophiles called hyperthermophiles, which enjoy temperatures above 80 degrees Celsius.There are a select few that can actually survive at temperatures above 100 degrees Celsius, the boiling point of water.As a comparison, no multicellular animals or plants have been found that can tolerate an environment above 50 degrees Celsius.The discovery of these interesting creatures is very recent, with thefirst discoveries dating back about thirty years ago and recent discoveries being more and more common with commercial potential driving the research.
One of the main uses of these types of microbes is in the revolutionary PCR technology. PCR stands for polymerase chain reaction.This technology is the basis for forensic science, biological research, medical diagnosis and screening for genetic susceptibility for diseases like cancer, etc.In PCR, an enzyme called DNA polymerase "copies repeatedly a snippet of DNA" producing an enormous supply.The process requires both a hot and cold temperature at different points in the process.B…

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