For those studying this unique branch of terrestrial life, the identification of resistance genes in the environment suggested there had to be antimicrobials out there. If this was the case, the Archaea were going to play a role. The only question they couldn't answer was the nature of this role. This past week, a team of researchers from Vanderbilt University may have provided the answer: Horizontal Gene Transfer (HGT).
Researchers took a selection of 14 foodborne pathogens and compared them based on the number of illness caused, the number of hospitalizations, the cost of illness and what's known as the cost to a person's quality of life. One by one, the pathogens demonstrated their abilities and slowly, several started to emerge from the rest of the pack, leaving a top five.
During the second mission to the moon in 1969, Apollo 12, the crew brought back a camera that had been sent some two and a half years earlier. When they returned, the camera underwent extensive testing including microbiological analysis. Much to their surprise, they found a colony of earthly bacteria; apparently the microbes had survived the inhospitable lunar environment.