Re: Planet Densities: Extreme environments
Wed, 13 Nov 1996 13:44:26 -0500

In a message dated 96-11-12 21:50:35 EST, you write:

< James Rogers wrote:
> Ice isn't conducive to life and
> very hot water/steam is extremely destructive to organic compounds.
> -James Rogers
> (Michael Lorrey) wrote: <<Actually, this is not true. >>

The deep sea vents have single celled and multicelled organisms living in and
next to them. The extreme thermophilic bacteria live and grow at
temperatures well above 100 degrees C. I predicted these organisms (and
bacterial life in space) would be discovered in 1975 when most other
microbiologists disagreed with me. Less than ten years later, the extreme
thermophiles were discovered. And, Mars may have had bacteria.

I seems impossible for a water based life form to survive much less even to
live and actually grow _and_ reproduce at temperature 60 degrees C, because
of protein destruction alone. Yet, they do even above 100 degrees C.
Also, remember the high pressures in the deep sea vents. in the late
1980's I researched pressure to kill bacteria. I found 30,000 psi starts
killing, but not until 60,000 psi do you get commercially feasible kill.
Even then, you must quickly pressurize (a cell normally liking atmospheric)
and then quickly de-pressurize (in less than 100 microseconds) to get several
log reduction. Bacterial spores of _Bacillus_ and _Clostridium_ are the
most resistant. The extreme thermophil spores can survive 121 degrees C
steam autoclaving for 365 days of exposure (the longest I've seem tested).

Cold preserves most types of cells (but not for coliform bacteria e.g.,
_E._coli), the colder the better. Some mold (possibly _Pseudomonas_
bacteria) will grow below 0 degrees C. How is that possible? How can water
freeze and the cell survive or even grow? One answer is: It _doesn't_ freeze
inside the cell via "natural" anti-freezes e.g., sugar. (BTW I don't like
how the word "natural" has been "Deo optimo maximo" in food stores).

Life is less fragile than even _I_ think it is. In 1975, I though I was
mighty optimistic. I've spent my professional life for 20 years researching
microbial control and bacterium, yeast and mold cell injury "natural"
recovery mechanisms. I then develop methods to "artificially" (another
evolving word) recover injured cells. I'm constantly amazed at life's
resiliency. Based on what I've seen I would not be surprised if human
cryonic suspension works.

DNA studies make me think the extreme thermophils are one of the first like
forms and were not adaptations of later life forms. If this is true, cells
were assembled, adapted (evolved) while under extreme environmental pressure.
This could mean life is abundant in the Universe and in places we don't
expect it to be.


Davin C. Enigl, MS-MEAS, President-Microbiologist
HACCP Validations-sm Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points for the
Food, Cosmetic, Pharmaceutical, and Nutritional Supplement Industry
Voice: (916) 989-8264, Fax: (916) 989-8205, Pager: (714) 725-7695
9040 Erle Blunden Way
Fair Oaks, CA 95628
November 13, 1996
9:58 am