Permian-Triassic climate lesson: Don’t even try to adapt to a mass extinction, mitigate – a single plague can kill a planet!

The second part of the new IPCC report, about the impacts of climate change, has been released on Monday. Across the globe dutiful journalists filled the headlines of their newspapers – and as they presume most of their readers are … Continue reading

Extremophile bacteria found living on South American volcanoes

South American volcano in Atacama regionResearchers who were looking for organisms that eke out a living in some of the most inhospitable soils on Earth have found a hardy few. A new DNA analysis of rocky soils in the martian-like landscape on some volcanoes in South America has revealed a handful of bacteria, fungi, and other rudimentary organisms, called archaea, which seem to have a different way of converting energy than their cousins elsewhere in the world.

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New source of methane discovered: the Arctic Ocean

It has been know for some time that large quantitites of methane lie hidden in reservoirs under the permafrost layers on the tundra and in clathrates on the continental shelve. It is neither a secret that those large quantities of … Continue reading

Meet Olavius algarvensis: the worm that eats carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulphide

Eating is actually a big word for the marine worm Olavius algarvensis, since the worm completely lacks a digestive system. Over the course of evolution the worm has gathered millions of symbiotic bacteria that have found a home under its … Continue reading

Some corals resistant to ocean acidification

With atmospheric and oceanic CO2 levels rising and the consequent acidification of the oceans, marine life has to adapt rapidly if they want to stay around. Especially calcium carbonate skeleton building organisms are affected by the rapidly dwindling seawater pH … Continue reading

Mixing bacteria and electricity to produce fuel from CO2

Electro-bioreactor and solar panel

Experimental setup of electro-bioreactor and solar panel (Credit: Image courtesy of University of California - Los Angeles)

Imagine being able to use electricity to power your car — even if it’s not an electric vehicle. Researchers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have for the first time demonstrated a method for converting carbon dioxide into liquid fuel isobutanol using electricity.

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Photo of the day: this worm is missing link in planetary food chain

Life on Earth consists of many millions of species, divided into ever smaller numbers when you zoom out to Genus, Family, Order, Class, Phylum and Kingdom – of which there are six. When you divide in Domains, there are just … Continue reading

E. coli produces commonly used biofuels

Cellulose is the major combustible component of non-food energy crops. Recently ways have been devised to turn it into bioethanol. An important step in a more widespread use of food-friendly biofuels. But as it turns out, besides Brazil and the … Continue reading