15 January 2013

Life at Extremes

Organised by:

 SCI's London Group

University College London

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Synopsis

By the end of the 19th century British and French oceanographic expeditions had shown that life exists in the deeper parts of the oceans, boosting an interest in deep-sea life amongst biologists. Ever since, microbes belonging to the domain's bacteria and archea have been found to thrive in diverse environments characterized by a wide range of pressure-temperature-composition (P,T,X) conditions. The range of physicochemical conditions under which microbial life has been observed has continually expanded as microbiologists explore additional remote and apparently hostile environments. Microbial activity has been described as temperatures down to perhaps as low as -40c and pure cultures of microbial isolates have been grown at temperatures up to 122c.

In addition, microbial life persists as ionizing radiation doses up to 30,000 grays and exhibits growth over pH ranges between 0 and 12.5, at salinities up to 5.2 M NaCl, at hydrostatic pressures up to 130 MPa with survival demonstrated up into the GPa range. In addition, the studies provide us with clues about the possible origins of life on our planet as well as elsewhere in the universe, and also allow us to explore the fundamental limits to survival of bacterial life forms under the most extreme conditions.


Venue and Contact

SCI

Department of Chemistry
University College London
20 Gordon Street
London, WC1H 0AJ 
Please click here for a location map.

The lecture will be preceded by tea/coffee in the Nyholm room and followed by a Mixer in the Nyholm Room.

Tel: 0207 598 1594

Email: Communications@soci.org


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