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Volcano-Dwelling Algae Key to Future Medicine and Bioremediation

Most organisms would die in the volcanic sulfur pools of Yellowstone and Mount Etna. Robust simple algae call it home, and their secrets to survival could advance human medicine and bioremediation. 

Mike Garavito, Michigan State Univ. professor of biochemistry and molecular biology was part of a research team that revealed how primitive red algae use horizontal gene transfer, in essence stealing useful genes from other organisms to evolve and thrive in harsh environments. 

Their study, published in the current issue of Science, shows that the algae’s ability to adapt to a hot and extremely acidic environment ­lies in part in their membrane proteins. 

“This organism knows how to deal with leaching loads of heavy metals in a noxious environment,” Garavito says. “This research could lead to enzymes that are needed to clean up mine and heavy-metal contamination.”

For the full article please click on the link below……

laboratoryequipment.com

http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/03/volcano-dwelling-algae-key-future-medicine-bioremediation