Bacteria can exist under gravity


27/04/2011

This discovery extends the range of places in the universe where there may be alien life. Proving by example that a strong - it does not mean big, some microorganisms survive the gravity 400,000 times greater than that which we experience on Earth.

For comparison, people can withstand forces in excess of 3-5 times gravity on the Earth’s surface (g). Anything above this threshold causes the loss of consciousness.

"The extreme of hyper at 400,000 g can only be detected in space, on a very massive stars or supernova shock wave," - said the head of research Shigeru Deguchi, a biologist from the Japanese Science and Technology Agency to study the sea bed.

Deguchi and his team managed to play in the world of hyper using the ultracentrifuge.

Four types of microorganisms, including common E. coli, very rapidly rotated in the device, which created more and more severe gravitational conditions.

Bacteria lump on increasing the force of gravity, but this did not prevent overcrowding forced them grow all four species successfully bred in gravity above the earth in the tens of thousands of times.

In this case, two types - E. coli and common in soil Paracoccus denitrificans, breeding even gravity in 403,627 g.

Deguchi explained that the resistance to gravity, can be partially attributed to their small size.

The larger body, the more sensitive it is to gravitational forces. The body of multicellular organisms such as humans, are destroyed and turn into a mush with just a few gravity g.

Also, the bacteria are more adapted to the extreme conditions biodegradable.

In contrast to eukaryotic cells, which consist of our bodies in bacterial cells No structures called organelles.

When the organelles themselves in conditions of hyper, then compressed or "settle" explained Deguchi. If the key components of the cell are mixed in this way, then it is forced to shut down.

The new study is consistent with the idea known as panspermia, according to which life on Earth has been brought ancient asteroid or comet, which came to us microorganisms.

According to scientists, the cosmic body in these conditions could accelerate to 300,000 g - quite tolerable conditions for some microorganisms.

But Deguchi said that "there is no strong evidence for the existence of life beyond Earth," so the experiment can not be considered strong evidence in favor of panspermia.

Despite this, the present study expands the range of locations where we can search for extraterrestrial life, at least in the form of microorganisms.

For example, scientists estimate that the gravity of brown dwarfs - space objects mass in the range between Jupiter and small stars, - from ten to one hundred g.

"If life exists outside our solar system, then it can exist even in places where previously it was considered impossible," - said Deguchi.

Original: News.nationalgeographic


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