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← First Animals to Live Without Oxygen Discovered

First Animals to Live Without Oxygen Discovered - Comments

Harps's Avatar Comment 1 by Harps

First and nothing to say except, WOW!!!

Thu, 08 Apr 2010 12:44:00 UTC | #457137

Capt'n John's Avatar Comment 3 by Capt'n John

And to think that I learned 60 years ago that all animals breathed oxygen, either through lungs or gills or pores in their skins. It is getting harder to keep up.

Thu, 08 Apr 2010 12:47:00 UTC | #457140

The Plc's Avatar Comment 2 by The Plc

I wish I knew enough about molecular biology to understand all that jargon, still sounds amazing though, for life for to exist in extreme conditions. "It survives, because it survives, because it survives"

Thu, 08 Apr 2010 12:47:00 UTC | #457139

Brian The Coyote's Avatar Comment 4 by Brian The Coyote

This is absolutely HUGE!

Someone please check me if I'm over-extrapolating here, but would the presence of hydrogenosomes represent another case of endosymbiosis£

Anaerobic multi-cellular life... Carl Sagan would be in absolute glee.

Abso-fuckin-lutely HUGE!!!

Thu, 08 Apr 2010 12:58:00 UTC | #457145

crookedshoes's Avatar Comment 5 by crookedshoes

The coolest part of this extremely cool article is where the authors tell us that these animals do not have mitochondria, but rather hydrogenosomes, which are present in protozoans. Again, the awesome power of Darwin's theory rears it's head!!!
Evolution makes PREDICTIONS that then observation reinforces. If one was to predict what type of organelles an animal that lives without oxygen would possess; one could base their prediction on Darwin or creation (or several other types of paradigms). If you base your prediction on Darwin, look to the ancestors of animals (protozoans) for the potential answer (hydrogenosomes). Or look to creation and ...........................................................

nothing. just nothing. it predicts nothing. Then go to the natural world.... and which is right????? I think we all know the answer to that.

Thu, 08 Apr 2010 13:22:00 UTC | #457153

Hektor's Avatar Comment 6 by Hektor

Being totally naive on all things evolution (other than what I learned from TGSOE; great book by the way) ... I've often wondered if, just as life evolved from the oceans to land, could life also evolve from a planetary existence to a space-bound one? This discovery would seem to lend itself to that.

Thu, 08 Apr 2010 13:58:00 UTC | #457166

Denial's Avatar Comment 7 by Denial

Space-bound life is mathematically and chemically possible and it is quite likely some inert bacteria can survive hard vacuum at least inside the heliosphere if they can cling to a bit of dust to shield them from some of the radiation. But we don't know of any metabolic system that can go on in such an environment, let alone reproduction in a place where there's hardly any matter out of while to make new copies.

This discovery increases yet again the likelyhood we will find life on other planets, including inside our solar system where oxygen is hard to find. But if we do, it'll very probably be on planets, asteroids or comets.

Thu, 08 Apr 2010 14:14:00 UTC | #457171

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 8 by Tyler Durden

6. Comment #477772 by Hektor

could life also evolve from a planetary existence to a space-bound one?
It's possible. Cosmologists reckon impacts here on Earth (due to meteoroid strikes) could have distributed matter onto our Moon, or possibly Mars.

Whether that matter could then survive on a different world/deep-space is a fascinating question... the examples we have here on Earth: bacteria in the ice cores of Iceland; deep-ocean organisms surviving without light; sulfuric acid "snotties" in Cave of Swallows in Mexico, would suggest life can survive once started.

Thu, 08 Apr 2010 14:23:00 UTC | #457173

mrjohnno's Avatar Comment 9 by mrjohnno

And then you have people having to say this...

Thu, 08 Apr 2010 14:38:00 UTC | #457181

gumby gumby's Avatar Comment 10 by gumby gumby

Great discovery!

Thu, 08 Apr 2010 15:11:00 UTC | #457199

aquilacane's Avatar Comment 11 by aquilacane

Why did we assume Oxygen was manditory for life?

Thu, 08 Apr 2010 16:14:00 UTC | #457217

crookedshoes's Avatar Comment 12 by crookedshoes

I don't think we assume oxygen being mandatory for life. Certainly the list of obligate anaerobic bacteria would argue against it. However, for larger active organisms (like animals) that have to sustain metabolic activity and expend energy to perform life's functions (hunting, reproduction etc...) oxygen as the terminal electron acceptor in the electron transport chain yields the highest efficiency of energy extraction from food (due to it's strong electronegativity). Any other electron acceptor would be less efficient and, as a result be out competed. Especially in a multicellular heterotroph like an animal.

Thu, 08 Apr 2010 17:46:00 UTC | #457243

Ron Millam's Avatar Comment 13 by Ron Millam

To quote Dr. Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) in the movie Jurassic Park:

If there's one thing the history of evolution has taught us it's that life will not be contained. Life breaks free. It expands into new territories and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously........ Life finds a way.

OK - so maybe it should have been called Cretaceous Park, and they probably should have used chicken DNA instead of frog DNA, yadda, yadda.... It was still a cool movie. And the quote seems appropriate.

Thu, 08 Apr 2010 18:05:00 UTC | #457252

nalfeshnee's Avatar Comment 14 by nalfeshnee

The only thing sad about this posting and the one about sediba is the paucity of comments.

crookedshoes - thanks for your comment though, nice to see a thoughtful answer to a good question.

Thu, 08 Apr 2010 19:27:00 UTC | #457283

Notstrident's Avatar Comment 15 by Notstrident

Stephen Jay Gould said, "In evolution, it's whatever works."

Thu, 08 Apr 2010 22:32:00 UTC | #457331

justinesaracen's Avatar Comment 16 by justinesaracen

crookedshoes I love your explanation, (though I'm still puzzling over your avatar).
I have copied it out and will wait for the next opportunity to drop it into a discussion on Facebook to sound really smart.
I'll credit you, of course. ("Attributed to...ahem...crookedshoes")

Fri, 09 Apr 2010 07:41:00 UTC | #457405

sandman67's Avatar Comment 17 by sandman67

I thouht that they had already discovered such lifeforms around the "brown smokers" on the mid atlantic ridge formations, and other micro-organisms living in hydrothermal pools in the US and Japan????

Confused I am.

Fri, 09 Apr 2010 09:20:00 UTC | #457416

phasmagigas's Avatar Comment 18 by phasmagigas

so what is that animal, my invert textbook shows something like that as a 'Loriciferan' one of those obscure groups that most people dont even know exist, related to nematodes and rotifers??

big edit, doooh, if i'd read the beginning....!!

Fri, 09 Apr 2010 11:43:00 UTC | #457436

blayzekohime's Avatar Comment 20 by blayzekohime

I would like to see an experiment where someone takes average bacteria and very gradually changes its environment from something normal to something intolerably hot/cold/poisonous/whatever to see what extreme you could get it to adapt to.

Fri, 09 Apr 2010 12:47:00 UTC | #457449

crookedshoes's Avatar Comment 19 by crookedshoes

I so very rarely can insert something useful into these threads that I blushed a little when my answer was considered something to be repeated.
Anyway, the real reason I picked this thread back up was : my avatar is Darwin posing as Dr. Evil from Austin Powers fame. And, "crookedshoes" is from a Tower of Power song: "It is hard to walk a straight line when you are wearing crooked shoes". Both are things I find delightful.

Fri, 09 Apr 2010 12:47:00 UTC | #457448

MattHunX's Avatar Comment 21 by MattHunX


YES! The possibilities of life existing on other planets is getting higher with every DAY!

Just watched the last episode from Wonders of the Solar System with Cox...hmhmhmhmhmh...looks like life can flourish in most unlikely places.

I want aliens! That would destroy at least some denominations of xtianity and whatever...things would be less complicated.

Fri, 09 Apr 2010 12:48:00 UTC | #457450

crookedshoes's Avatar Comment 22 by crookedshoes

There are tons of these experiments. They range from simply changing sugars in the environment to the range of "tortures" you describe. The coolest of the cool, however, has to be Speigleman's monster. Richard details this remarkable series of experiments in the last few chapters of "The Ancestor's Tale". It is unspeakably wonderful (to borrow a phrase).

Fri, 09 Apr 2010 13:15:00 UTC | #457454

bluebird's Avatar Comment 23 by bluebird

Spinoloricus cinzia, how lovely you are!

Oh man, I so want to watch 'Wonders of the Solar System' - release Brian to the U.S., and soon :D

Fri, 09 Apr 2010 21:55:00 UTC | #457650

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 24 by Steve Zara

Comment #478260 by bluebird

"Wonders of the Solar System" isn't that good. There is far too much of Brian Cox giving his opinions while walking on Earth, and nowhere near enough CGI and actual data from the solar system.

I think Brian Cox is a great presenter, but this series would have been far better with him mainly as narrator rather as the focus of each episode.

Fri, 09 Apr 2010 22:17:00 UTC | #457653

Skeptic1972's Avatar Comment 25 by Skeptic1972

Incredible. I am constantly amazed by what science discovers.

Mon, 12 Apr 2010 05:14:00 UTC | #458298

bobster's Avatar Comment 26 by bobster

The physical evidence and final proof of extraterrestrial life being present in outer space will most likely take the form of the discovery of microbes and we are going to have a hard time in verifying these animals as being alien, as they will probably also have similar DNA strands if the theory of earth being seeded form space is correct. The instruments we use are also going to be difficult to keep uncontaminated from their earthly origins. Tough times ahead to nail this one down.
However it is my wish that this occurs before I become star dust.

Tue, 20 Apr 2010 13:30:00 UTC | #461287