Third Microbes in the News

Article and link: A Blazing Hot Coal Shows How Microbes Can Spring to Life   Source: Wired 04/21/19   Link: https://www.wired.com/story/a-blazing-hot-coal-seam-shows-how-microbes-can-spring-to-life/

Summary: In Centralia many single-celled microbes live in the soil that is on top of the underground mine fire in the coal seam. Due to the fire it was initially thought nothing may have lived, but instead there are many microbes. The same amount of microbes have been found to be living in very hot areas including various thermophiles that microbes that live at geothermal hot springs.

Connections: In class we have briefly studied thermophiles which are heat loving bacteria. We have also looked at the various species of microbes that live in soil, and I find it interesting how natural disasters can affect what microbes are in the soil. We studied factors that can cause microbes to go dormant, which is what can happen during a fire since there is no activity on the soil.

Critical analysis: I thought this article was interesting because it involves microbe activity when a natural disaster occurs and using spores to regrow genomes. The article was well written and contained a large amount of detailed scientific information. It could be rather difficult for the general public to read the article and understand it all though, because of all the technical terms it contains.

Question: What organisms do you think would be likely to live through a fire or other extreme natural disaster? Would they become dormant?

 

 

1 Comment for “Third Microbes in the News”

bkwintter

says:

This is a very interesting article about underground fires and how the microbes are thriving in these conditions. The intensity of the temperature is astonishing, underground roughly 1350* F and ground roughly 900* F, it is impressive that even hyperthermophiles can survive let along thrive in those conditions. I liked that they connected a lower microbial diversity associated with the higher temperature areas which definitely connected with what were were learning about with prokaryotes.

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