First detailed microscopy evidence of bacteria at the lower size li...

Posted: 27 Feb 2015 03:13 PM PST

Scientists have captured the first detailed microscopy images of ultra-small bacteria that are believed to be about as small as life can get. The existence of ultra-small bacteria has been debated for two decades, but there hasn't been a comprehensive electron microscopy and DNA-based description of the microbes until now. The cells have an average volume of 0.009 cubic microns (one micron is one millionth of a meter). About 150 of these bacteria could fit inside an Escherichia coli cell and more than 150,000 cells could fit onto the tip of a human hair.

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I guess they're too small to study in any depth.  I wonder what they live on.  Hopefully, E-coli.

Heh, that's actually one of the possible things they could feed off of, yeah, Donald.  There are parasitic viruses and bacteria that take advantage of other bacteria and other single-cellular organisms.  I don't know of a specific species that attacks E. coli, but in general, it's a possibility.

Of course plenty of microorganisms are not as detrimentally parasitic, in nature.  For example, our mitochondria, and obviously those of all other animals, began as separate single-cellular organisms that colonized the insides of larger cells, possibly in an initially parasitic relationship, then took on a more beneficial role, over time, improving the survivability of the host cell and its daughter cells.

Some of these ultra-small bacteria could be something like what mitochondria began as, before those evolved into their present function.

I wouldn't say that they're too small to study in any depth, except perhaps with the additional qualifier of, 'with our existing tools'.  I don't even know if that is the case, for sure, but it would be, at best, a temporary limitation.  The invention of awesome new tools usually follows the discovery that there's something that we really want to study, which we lack the tools to study.

That was Interesting, once I found the Berkeley research site.  Science Daily has been kicking me out for a couple of months now.  I guess it doesn't support my old versions of Firefox or Safari.

I can't remember how much resolution the electron microscope I used 11 years ago had, but I think it could have seen those little critters, but not seen nearly as much detail as those images have.

The most advanced operating system my 7.5 year old iMac can only use OSX 10.4 and I think the latest OSX is 10.10    That means I haven't been able to download any newer web browsers for years, and my old ones are not being supported anymore by some sites.

Errrrrrrr, I saw what you originally typed, in the e-mail notification, Patricia.  Did you generate some sort of bizarre formatting, which nuked the content of your post?

Not sure how well any version of Linux would work with iMac architecture.  Macs often use proprietary parts, and you'd probably run into problems getting working drivers.

Thanks Patricia.  I think I remember going to the Ubuntu site when you first mentioned you were happy with it, but they didn't have a version that would work with my iMac.

Yup, that's what I was afraid of.  Some of those old iMacs had very weird motherboards and processor configurations.  With Windoze and Linux, you have a standard to which all of the component manufacturers conform.  Apple sees no need to make their hardware compatible, strangely.

Yeah, one of the reasons I'm not a fan of iOS systems, Spud.  I have a lot more luck with Linux and Windoze-based systems.  The computers I put together back in 2001 would have no problems running Windoze 7, if all of the components remained fully-functional.  They wouldn't exactly have a good time with modern web-pages, since one only had a 1.3 GHz single-core processor, but they would handle the OS and browser just fine.

Still, you're a bit beyond the curve with a 7.5 year-old system ... but even then, that must have been a lower-end system for that time period, huh?

For what it's worth, the baseline increase seems to be slowing down.  Quad-core laptops are still standard, and I don't imagine we'll move much beyond that, in the next 5 or 6 years.  That's plenty of power for anything you would want to do, except for serious programming, video editing, 3D graphics rendering, and playing the latest video games.

For a new gaming machine, I would probably use at least an upper-end 8-core processor, but for anything else, a lower end quad-core will be fine for another 5 or 6 years.

I just purchased a $300 Dell Inspiron Laptop with windows 8, thinking I was going to have to go to the library to access the internet because I couldn't afford the $52/month ISPs here (not even the old $31/month I was paying).

I then called my ISP and told them to cancel, but they offered me a $21/month rate, and said I could call them every year and get the same rate, so I took the offer.

If I had known that, I would not have purchased the Laptop, but would have saved that $300 and added to it until I was able to purchase an $800 machine.

The new Laptop is slow as molasses in Jan, and the screen is so small, I have trouble reading it.  If I can get it hooked to my projector properly, that will take care of the size problem.  Perhaps I can also get it to work with Ubuntu.

Sounds like with Ubuntu, I wouldn't have to buy McAfees virus protection every year.  

I may not have purchased it this year except the person I talked to about it on the phone said it would work on my old iMac as well.  It does not!  Trying to download it to the Mac, I got the message that it does not support my operating system.  Too old.

Ubuntu sounds good Patricia.  

Just in case you misunderstood my last post, I was talking about McAfees virus protection not working on my iMac, not Ubuntu.

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