DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Janibacter hoylei, Gram-positive, stratosphere bacterium (prokaryote). In 2009 Indian scientists launched a high altitude balloon to sample the stratosphere. The experiment detected 12 bacterial and six fungal colonies, nine of which showed greater than 98 percent similarity with known species on earth. However, 3 bacterial colonies were totally new species. One bacterium, identified as a member of the genus Janibacter, was name Janibacter hoylei after the distinguished astrophysicist Fred Hoyle. All 3 bacteria were highly resistant to ultra-violet radiation (enough to kill most organisms) and are not found on earth. The stratosphere is the second major layer of Earth's atmosphere, just above the troposphere, and below the mesosphere. Magnification: x3,465 when shortest axis printed at 25.
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