Organisms: Radiation-Resistant Extremophiles and Their Potential in Biotechnology

1356 WordsJul 13, 20186 Pages
Introduction Most organisms on earth are able to live in their habitat under certain conditions. Others are able to live under very extreme conditions like extreme temperatures, pH, salinity, pressure and radiation just to name a few. These organisms are called extremophiles and they are polyphyletic. According to (Singh et al. 2011), microorganisms, but specifically bacteria are especially well adapted for surviving extreme conditions. Lately scientists have become very intrigued by extremophiles because of their biotechnological and commercial value to humans. Scientists are still at the beginning stages of being able to understand these organisms since very little research has been done on extremophiles prior to the current interest in…show more content…
The water bear loses the fragility of the any water containing organism in the absence of water through anhydrobiosis which is a form of cryptobiosis (Mullen 2009). It remains like this until it encounters water again where it will reverse the process and rehydrate even up to after 100 years as stated by Mullen (2009). Revival can take a few minutes or a few hours depending on the length of time that it has occurred in its anhydrous state. Their habitat on earth is amongst lichens and mosses. According to Mullen (2009) if there were ever a species that occured on earth that could survive on another planet, this would be it. The study of water bears can give scientists more insight into how life is able to survive on planets without water. Another type of extremophile is radio-resistant organisms. Radiation from the rays of the sun such as ultraviolet rays or any other source can damage cells in living organisms causing the premature death of cells as well as damaging the DNA within cells that can cause mutations of skin cells. This leads to cancers and other disorders relating to the improper coding of proteins as a result of damaged DNA. According to Gabani et al. (2013) organisms such as the bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans have adapted to withstand the harmful effects of radiation up to above the lethal dose of radiation. Other organisms that have been known to withstand the negative effects of a decaying radioactive isotope are

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