Newfound gene may help bacteria survive in extreme environments: Resulting microbial lipids may also signify oxygen dips in Earth’s history

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A newfound gene may help bacteria survive in extreme environments. In the days following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, methane-eating bacteria bloomed in the Gulf of Mexico, feasting on the methane that gushed, along with oil, from the damaged well. The sudden influx of microbes was a scientific curiosity: Prior to the oil spill, scientists had observed relatively few signs of methane-eating microbes in the area.

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