Scientists discover first multicellular life that doesn't need oxygen

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Apr 18, 2005
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#1
got this somewhere else but thought it was worth posting and lacin' the folks here.

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The discovery of the new species, which live buried in sediment under the Mediterranean seafloor, is significant in that it marks the first observation of multicellular organisms, or metazoans, that spend their entire lifecycle under permanently anoxic conditions. A few metazoans have been known to tolerate anoxic conditions, but only for limited periods of time.

The team of Italian and Danish researchers, Roberto Danovaro, et al., that discovered the new life forms has identified the creatures as belonging to the animal phylum Loricifera, the most recently described animal phylum. Loriciferans, which have a length of less than one millimeter, typically live in sediment. The three new organisms belong to different genera (Spinoloricus, Rugiloricus, and Pliciloricus), although their species have not yet been named.

Despite belonging to previously known taxonomic groups, the new species possess some radical differences compared with other metazoans. Most significantly, the new species do not have mitochondria, the cellular organelles that use oxygen and sugar to generate the cell’s energy. Instead, the new loriciferans have organelles that resemble hydrogenosomes, which are used by some single-celled eukaryotes to generate energy without oxygen. However, this is the first time that these organelles have been observed in multicellular organisms. Previous research has indicated that hydrogenosomes may have evolved from mitochondria, while other research suggests they evolved independently.

To find the new species, the researchers carried out three oceanographic expeditions from 1998 to 2008 to search for life in the extreme environments located more than 3,000 meters (about two miles) under the Mediterranean Sea. The researchers focused on an area called the L’Atalante basin, which is located off the southern coast of Greece. As the scientists explain, this type of “deep hypersaline anoxic basin” was created by the flooding of mineral sediments from 5.5 million years ago. For the past 50,000 years, the basin has possessed a dense hypersaline brine layer up to 60 meters thick. The brine serves as a physical barrier that prohibits oxygen exchange between the water and sediment, making the basin completely oxygen-free. In addition, the basin is rich in methane and hydrogen sulphide, and is also home to a diverse assembly of prokaryotes that have adapted to these conditions.

The discovery of the new species, which live buried in sediment under the Mediterranean seafloor, is significant in that it marks the first observation of multicellular organisms, or metazoans, that spend their entire lifecycle under permanently anoxic conditions. A few metazoans have been known to tolerate anoxic conditions, but only for limited periods of time.

The team of Italian and Danish researchers, Roberto Danovaro, et al., that discovered the new life forms has identified the creatures as belonging to the animal phylum Loricifera, the most recently described animal phylum. Loriciferans, which have a length of less than one millimeter, typically live in sediment. The three new organisms belong to different genera (Spinoloricus, Rugiloricus, and Pliciloricus), although their species have not yet been named.

Despite belonging to previously known taxonomic groups, the new species possess some radical differences compared with other metazoans. Most significantly, the new species do not have mitochondria, the cellular organelles that use oxygen and sugar to generate the cell’s energy. Instead, the new loriciferans have organelles that resemble hydrogenosomes, which are used by some single-celled eukaryotes to generate energy without oxygen. However, this is the first time that these organelles have been observed in multicellular organisms. Previous research has indicated that hydrogenosomes may have evolved from mitochondria, while other research suggests they evolved independently.

To find the new species, the researchers carried out three oceanographic expeditions from 1998 to 2008 to search for life in the extreme environments located more than 3,000 meters (about two miles) under the Mediterranean Sea. The researchers focused on an area called the L’Atalante basin, which is located off the southern coast of Greece. As the scientists explain, this type of “deep hypersaline anoxic basin” was created by the flooding of mineral sediments from 5.5 million years ago. For the past 50,000 years, the basin has possessed a dense hypersaline brine layer up to 60 meters thick. The brine serves as a physical barrier that prohibits oxygen exchange between the water and sediment, making the basin completely oxygen-free. In addition, the basin is rich in methane and hydrogen sulphide, and is also home to a diverse assembly of prokaryotes that have adapted to these conditions.

The discovery of the new species, which live buried in sediment under the Mediterranean seafloor, is significant in that it marks the first observation of multicellular organisms, or metazoans, that spend their entire lifecycle under permanently anoxic conditions. A few metazoans have been known to tolerate anoxic conditions, but only for limited periods of time.

The team of Italian and Danish researchers, Roberto Danovaro, et al., that discovered the new life forms has identified the creatures as belonging to the animal phylum Loricifera, the most recently described animal phylum. Loriciferans, which have a length of less than one millimeter, typically live in sediment. The three new organisms belong to different genera (Spinoloricus, Rugiloricus, and Pliciloricus), although their species have not yet been named.

Despite belonging to previously known taxonomic groups, the new species possess some radical differences compared with other metazoans. Most significantly, the new species do not have mitochondria, the cellular organelles that use oxygen and sugar to generate the cell’s energy. Instead, the new loriciferans have organelles that resemble hydrogenosomes, which are used by some single-celled eukaryotes to generate energy without oxygen. However, this is the first time that these organelles have been observed in multicellular organisms. Previous research has indicated that hydrogenosomes may have evolved from mitochondria, while other research suggests they evolved independently.

To find the new species, the researchers carried out three oceanographic expeditions from 1998 to 2008 to search for life in the extreme environments located more than 3,000 meters (about two miles) under the Mediterranean Sea. The researchers focused on an area called the L’Atalante basin, which is located off the southern coast of Greece. As the scientists explain, this type of “deep hypersaline anoxic basin” was created by the flooding of mineral sediments from 5.5 million years ago. For the past 50,000 years, the basin has possessed a dense hypersaline brine layer up to 60 meters thick. The brine serves as a physical barrier that prohibits oxygen exchange between the water and sediment, making the basin completely oxygen-free. In addition, the basin is rich in methane and hydrogen sulphide, and is also home to a diverse assembly of prokaryotes that have adapted to these conditions.

Because previous studies have reported the presence of cadaverous metazoans that had sunk to anoxic deep-sea sediments in the Black Sea, the researchers here stained the newly collected specimens with Rose Bengal, a protein binding stain that colors living organisms with a much greater intensity than deceased organisms, demonstrating that the new species were indeed alive. In addition, the scientists observed specimens of the undescribed species of both genera Spinoloricus and Rugiloricus that had a large oocyte in their ovary, which showed a nucleus containing a nucleolus, providing evidence of reproduction.

http://www.physorg.com/news189836027.html
 
Jan 31, 2008
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#2
ok so since this remained with 0 replies , i will create a discussion based on opinion without educating myself from any sources but your replies as this discussion expands.


can someone tell me why water (h2O) plays a role in demonstrating life on/in other planets and since this multicelled organism needs no oxygen to survive so does this mean that maybe h20 isnt what defines where life can exist? or does this organism still need the hydrogen from the h20 molecule?
 
Nov 24, 2003
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#5
It does, no argument; and in reality because of the infinite nature of the universe it's probably a good way to limit the scope of the search.


However, IMO, it is still a logical fallacy to say that "Because X is necessary for life on Earth, X will be necessary for life another planet"
 
Jul 6, 2008
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#7
all that is needed in the future is gene splcing taht animal into our dna, and we can live w/o oxygen. this is going to be a very interesting century.
 

ThaG

Sicc OG
Jun 30, 2005
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#9
The team of Italian and Danish researchers, Roberto Danovaro, et al., that discovered the new life forms has identified the creatures as belonging to the animal phylum Loricifera, the most recently described animal phylum.
Loricifera isn't the newest discovered phylum

Lorificefa - 1983
Cycliophora - 1995
Micrognatozoa - 1994
 

ThaG

Sicc OG
Jun 30, 2005
9,635
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#10
ok so since this remained with 0 replies , i will create a discussion based on opinion without educating myself from any sources but your replies as this discussion expands.


can someone tell me why water (h2O) plays a role in demonstrating life on/in other planets and since this multicelled organism needs no oxygen to survive so does this mean that maybe h20 isnt what defines where life can exist? or does this organism still need the hydrogen from the h20 molecule?
Water on its own doesn't demonstrate the existence of life. But it is a prerequisite for life as we know it.

We can debate for centuries what exactly is life and how to define and detect it (and we known we can debate this for centuries because that's what people have been and continue to be doing, without a final answer in sight)

But all life we know is based on water, because of its properties and abundance.
 
Jan 31, 2008
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#11
Water on its own doesn't demonstrate the existence of life. But it is a prerequisite for life as we know it.

We can debate for centuries what exactly is life and how to define and detect it (and we known we can debate this for centuries because that's what people have been and continue to be doing, without a final answer in sight)

But all life we know is based on water, because of its properties and abundance.
we know its based on water because its existance has been proven, with water with a lil bit of eletricity (whatveer the fuck element makes that shit up) building blocks of life were formed.

but my question is, if this doesnt need oxygen, how does this not also imply that the probability of other multicelled organisms not needing fundamental elements or work on hydrogen alone, or whatever,

yeah this will be a loonnng discussion.
thanks for replying
 

ThaG

Sicc OG
Jun 30, 2005
9,635
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#12
we know its based on water because its existance has been proven, with water with a lil bit of eletricity (whatveer the fuck element makes that shit up) building blocks of life were formed.

but my question is, if this doesnt need oxygen, how does this not also imply that the probability of other multicelled organisms not needing fundamental elements or work on hydrogen alone, or whatever,

yeah this will be a loonnng discussion.
thanks for replying
Because life on Earth started in water and oxygen was actually toxic for it in the beginning. There are still organisms around left from those times, those live in extreme environments where there isn't much oxygen like thermal vents on the ocean floor, etc. In the early times of Earth's history, the atmosphere didn't have any oxygen in it because oxygen is very reactive and it basically oxidized the rocks and disappeared from the air. Then photosynthesis evolved and a waste product of it is oxygen. It started gradually building up and life actually almost went extinct at the time because it was toxic for organisms at the time - oxygen was building up, ecosystems (it was all microbial at the time, of course) collapsed, the photosynthesizing populations also collapsed as a result (it was toxic for them too), the oxygen oxidized the iron in the crust, its concentration fell, life recovered, oxygen built up again, and so on and so on. Today we see the remains of this cycle in the form of many bands of iron in rock from that time (this is some 2 billion years ago or so). Then, eventually, mechanisms for protection from oxygen evolved, so it happened that some organisms evolved aerobic respiration and catabolism (which gives you about 15 times more energy per molecule glucose degraded), those became to dominate the planet, oxygen built up further and further and obligatory anaerobs became constrained to environments where there is no oxygen. All this happened before/around the time eukaryotes evolved which is why all multicellular organisms are aerobs
 
Jan 31, 2008
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#15
Because life on Earth started in water and oxygen was actually toxic for it in the beginning. There are still organisms around left from those times, those live in extreme environments where there isn't much oxygen like thermal vents on the ocean floor, etc. In the early times of Earth's history, the atmosphere didn't have any oxygen in it because oxygen is very reactive and it basically oxidized the rocks and disappeared from the air. Then photosynthesis evolved and a waste product of it is oxygen. It started gradually building up and life actually almost went extinct at the time because it was toxic for organisms at the time - oxygen was building up, ecosystems (it was all microbial at the time, of course) collapsed, the photosynthesizing populations also collapsed as a result (it was toxic for them too), the oxygen oxidized the iron in the crust, its concentration fell, life recovered, oxygen built up again, and so on and so on. Today we see the remains of this cycle in the form of many bands of iron in rock from that time (this is some 2 billion years ago or so). Then, eventually, mechanisms for protection from oxygen evolved, so it happened that some organisms evolved aerobic respiration and catabolism (which gives you about 15 times more energy per molecule glucose degraded), those became to dominate the planet, oxygen built up further and further and obligatory anaerobs became constrained to environments where there is no oxygen. All this happened before/around the time eukaryotes evolved which is why all multicellular organisms are aerobs
i used oxygen as an example of us never knowing an X out there, while it sure seems like man is in for a surprise.
isnt he always?
 
Jan 31, 2008
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#16
LOL

True. I suppose our search for life on another planet is as motivated by a collective realization of Earth's diminishing capabilities to support it; as much as it is by pure curiosity.
cuz we 100% create our world, mistaking ourselves to be bodies.
Our goals are based on priorities that stand on faulty grounds.
how could i know what is important to me if i dont know who i am , or what my ambitions are?

how awesome would it be to reailze that you arent the body and its runs its course without attachment on your part?
 
Jan 31, 2008
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#18
ive realized enough to know for myself that its 100% true.
i actually entered a period that was blissful once, i had a book with me on the yoga sutra at rams horn when hangin with some friends .
and i randomly read what i already had known, but since each concept holds imaginary weight to it when i read it in the way it was written " you give being and meaning to everything" and somethin clicked.
at that instant whether i liked it or not i saw how everything in the resturant n all the people and all the commotion is nothin when im not there. The lamp or the poster or whatever all just became of their own essence.
in the end it was the detachment of my reality that brought me the joy, and my untrained mind that still runs its course desired it to stay and the dual reality re-imemerged
but the process of joy was for around 2 hours until i started mentally categorizing it and imagining up concepts of it.and thereby bringing it back to the "mental" plane.
 

ThaG

Sicc OG
Jun 30, 2005
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#19
i used oxygen as an example of us never knowing an X out there, while it sure seems like man is in for a surprise.
isnt he always?
Not really, in fact we have done a pretty good job of understanding biology, we just haven't finished it, but we will eventually, if given sufficient time (and money, of course ;) )
 
Jan 31, 2008
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#20
ok and in what world does "bioloigy" exist? the quantum world? the macro world? micro workd?


its up to u, but i aint wastin my time with causes n effects based on a certain point of view ismply because i was born of an average height of 5'9 and now all of a suden i have a relation to what is minute to me.


ill reply to your other threads, but its 643 am , gotta sleep before i jabber on at the other threads