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Strain 121

Strain 121
Scientific classification
Domain: Archaea
Phylum: Euryarchaeota
Class: Thermoprotei
Order: ?
Family: ?
Genus: ?
Species: ?
Binomial name

Strain 121 is a single-celled microbe, of the domain Archaea. Originally found 200 miles (300 km) away from Puget Sound in a hydrothermal vent, it is a hyperthermophile, able to survive and reproduce at 121 °C (250 °F). This ability is what gave the microbe its name: It is the only known form of life that can tolerate such incredibly high temperatures. 130 °C is proven to be only bacteriostatic for Strain 121, meaning that although growth is halted the bacterium remains viable.

The ability to grow at 121 degrees Celsius is significant because medical equipment is exposed to this temperature for sterilisation in an autoclave. Prior to the 2003 discovery of Strain 121, a fifteen-minute exposure to autoclave temperatures was believed to kill all living organisms.

Strain 121 metabolizes by reducing iron oxide.

External links and references

  • Guardian News
  • Pulse of the Planet
  • New Scientist article
  • Science Daily article
  • NSF "Microbe from Depths Takes Life to Hottest Known Limit"
  • Kashefi K, Lovley DR. Extending the upper temperature limit for life. Science. 2003 Aug 15;301(5635):934. PMID 12920290
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Strain_121". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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