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Cells in Their Environment


Submitted By trekk
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‘Cells in their environment’
The wellbeing of cells is constantly dependant on their ability to interact with and adapt to their corresponding environment. Even in intense conditions it is vital that cells adapt in order to maintain their dynamic efficiency. Thermophilic bacteria, such as Bacillus stearothermophilus and Thermus aquaticus are prokaryotes which thrive in scorching temperatures; for example: in hot springs such as ‘Octopus Spring’ in Yellowstone National Park. These environmental conditions are substantially harsh as these waters present numerous pressures. The cells of thermophiles however, have adapted to this harsh environment through different strategies including the use of thermozymes and developing a particular cell membrane, both crucial for the productivity of cells and thus, the life of thermophiles. This paper will discuss the environment and adaptation of the cells found in thermophilic bacteria.
The Environment.
Thermophiles live in extremely hot environments. An example being hydrothermal vents deep on the sea floor in both Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. These ‘smoker’ chimneys arise from the separation of Oceanic plates and the subsequent burst of lava that fills the gap creating a chimney like vent full of extremely hot water. The potential threat of thermophilic bacterial cells living close to and perhaps even on these hydrothermal vents arises from the 200 – 350°C water that gushes out into the water outside of the vent which is comparatively much cooler, lying around 2 - 4°C. The force at which this water immerses is extraordinary. The high pressure of this water mixes with the already high pressure of the deep sea floor.
To a certain extent this is similar to hot springs which host a living community of many thermophilic bacteria such as thermus aquaticus, which lives and was found in the springs of Yellowstone

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