In hot water with extremophiles| Adventures in Genomics

April 25, 2018

One hypothesis regarding the origin of life is that it might have originated in ancient hot springs, or, as Darwin claimed, in some “warm little pond”. While there is yet no real consensus on how life originated, it is true that very special microbes populate hot springs. To learn more about it, Jacques and Irene traveled to Gerlach, Nevada, to interview Dr. Brian Hedlund, from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Through his multidisciplinary approach to the topic, Dr. Hedlund is discovering major new groups of life, that have never been explored by science before. These organisms likely diverged from known lineages of microbes over a billion years ago. Thanks to genomics, he is discovering new classes of organisms, learning how to culture microbes that wouldn’t have been culturable without genomic information, and learning new insights about microbial life in general.

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