Scientists discover a bacteria that breaks all previous size limits

Scientists have discovered a single bacterium that has broken all of the previous theoretical limitations for a bacteria's size.

2 minutes & 3 seconds read time

A team of researchers have discovered a bacteria that has broken the theoretical limits of how big bacteria can grow.

Scientists discover a bacteria that breaks all previous size limits 01

The bacteria was found swimming in the French Caribbean archipelago of Guadeloupe, and according to a study that has been published in Science, the bacteria measured more than a centimeter in length. The researchers describe the bacteria in their paper as "unusually large" and wrote that it's a sulfur-oxidizing bacterium that has a complex membrane organization.

For reference, the cells in most bacterial species are approximately two micrometers in length, with some of the larger specimens reaching up to 750 micrometers. The researchers were able to measure the cells in the bacteria that was found in Guadeloupe and discovered it was a whopping 9,000 micrometers - even visible to the naked eye. Jean-Marie Volland, a scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, said that the bacteria is 5,000 times bigger than most bacteria.

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The bacteria is shaped like a human eyelash and reportedly features organelles, which, according to Genetic Engineering and Biotech News, is meant to be impossible. Furthermore, Volland says that the big surprise with the discovery was that copies of its genome within a cell are actually contained within a larger membrane structure, which is "very unexpected for a bacterium." Notably, the massive single cells contain three times more genes than most bacteria, demonstrating a new level of complexity for simple organisms such as bacteria.

For more information on this story, check out the official study here, or another report here.

In other science news, NASA recently confirmed the release date for the first colored image taken by the James Webb Space Telescope. Additionally, officials recently detected a comet twice as big as Mount Everest approaching Earth, and after 20 years, a famous Mars spacecraft is getting a software update that will make it five times better.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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