Tag: Nanobes

Philippa Uwins and Nanobes

Philippa Uwins and her colleagues at the University of Queensland, Australia, noticed strange structures growing on sandstone rock samples they had broken open for studying. The rock samples had been retrieved from 3 to 5 Kilometres below the ocean bed where atmospheric pressure is around 2000x normal, and temperatures range between 115 to 170 degs Centigrade; not an easy place for living things to flourish!
This initial discovery was curious enough but when the team found that containers and equipment in their laboratory were being ‘colonised’ by these structures, they realised whatever they had found was growing! Samples were collected from polystyrene petri dishes with sterilised micro-forceps and examined in a powerful SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) operating at 80 Kvolts.

Radio Interview (transcript) with Philippa Uwins about Nanobes

Nanobes are a group of organisms which were discovered growing in some sandstone samples that came from outer western Australia. The interesting thing about the nanobes is that they’re in a size range that’s argued, on a current understanding of biological theory to be too small to exist. And the other interesting aspect of the nanobes is that they’re in the same size range as the controversial Martian nanobe bacteria that were found in a meteorite some years ago.

Nanobacteria: surely not figments, but what are they?

Nannobacteria are very small living creatures in the 0.05 to 0.2 micrometer range. They are enormously abundant in minerals and rocks, and probably run most of the earth’s surface chemistry. Although it is conjectured that they form most of the world’s biomass, they remain “biota incognita” to the biological world as their genetic relationships, metabolism, and other characteristics remain to be investigated.