Wednesday, August 06, 2008

'Slow Life' and its Implications

Imagine a form of life so unusual that we cannot figure out how it dies. That’s exactly what researchers are finding beneath the floor of the sea off Peru. The microbes being studied there -- single-celled organisms called Archaea -- live in time frames that can perhaps best be described as geological. Consider: A bacteria like Escherichia Coli divides and reproduces every twenty minutes or so. But the microbes in the so-called Peruvian Margin take hundreds or thousands of years to divide.

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