Monday, April 12, 2010

Scientists Discover Micro-organisms That Don't Need Oxygen

Image: R. Danovaro et al., BMC Biology
Okay, this is getting nerdy, but it's still cool. (Science is ALWAYS cool!). Researchers have discovered the first micro-organism (animal) that doesn't need oxygen to survive. The organism dubbed Loricifera, was found on the L'Atalante basin in the Mediterranean.From Science American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS):
The creature's cells apparently lack mitochondria, the organelles that use oxygen to power a cell. Instead they are rich in what seem to be hydrogenosomes, organelles that can do a similar job in anaerobic (or oxygen free) environments. The find could help scientists understand what life might have looked like in the earth's early oceans, which also had very little oxygen.
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