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Exploring how bacteria thrive in the Great Salt Lake

News Release

November 12, 2009 Share This!

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LOGAN, Utah — Extreme conditions at the Great Salt Lake put special pressures on the tiny, single-celled organisms that live there. The lake's high salt content limits the amount of oxygen in its water. When night falls, oxygen-generating photosynthesis stops, and the living creatures quickly use up what's left. To survive, bacteria and other microorganisms must change how they get their energy.

Understanding how the community of life responds to these varying conditions can help scientists use bacteria to clean up contamination, develop energy sources, protect our health and the health of our ecosystems. Researchers at EMSL will build a database of the proteins found in the lake's bacteria and archaea, another microbe found in extreme environments. Proteins are an organisms' toolkit, and Utah State University researchers will be able to use this information to monitor how the microbial community uses its toolkit to respond to changing conditions.

Click to read entire release posted by Utah State University.

Tags: Fundamental Science, EMSL, Biology, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

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