Vocabulary

ribozyme archaea chemosynthesis cyanobacteria ozone endosymbiosis

Amino acid -

Protein chain

Transfer RNA

figure 14-8

Messenger RNA is transcribed from a DNA template. Transfer RNA translates the three-base codons in the mRNA, assembling a protein from the specified amino acids.

figure 14-8

Messenger RNA is transcribed from a DNA template. Transfer RNA translates the three-base codons in the mRNA, assembling a protein from the specified amino acids.

^Eco Connectionj

Archaea

Some species of archaea, such as Methanosarcina barkeri pictured in Figure 14-9, are referred to as methanogens. Within these curious prokaryotic cells, hydrogen gas reacts with carbon dioxide to produce methane, CH4, a simple carbon compound. Methanogens are poisoned by oxygen, but they can live in watery environments where other organisms have consumed all free oxygen, such as in swamps and even the intestines of animals.

Methanogens may prove useful to humans in two significant ways: they are currently used in the cleanup of organic waste, such as sewage, and they may eventually be harnessed for large-scale production of methane for use as a fuel source.

Other species of archaea are being used in the cleanup of petroleum spills into soil, such as occur when underground gasoline tanks develop leaks. This technique, called bioremediation, often relies on archaeal species that are already present in the soil. These cells are stimulated by application of nutrient-rich solutions formulated to their taste. As the cells multiply, they metabolize petroleum, releasing harmless byproducts.

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