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Transcript of Halophiles
When exposed to high salt levels suitable for halophiles, humans would not be able to survive due to dehydration.
Halophiles can be found even in salinity of 35% (ocean contains 3% salt). They mostly reside in evaporation ponds, salt lakes, and hypersaline seas.
Interesting Facts / Unique Properties
What are halophiles?
Halophiles are extremophile microorganisms that live in high salt concentrations; usually salt oceans or lakes. They are categorized by their "halotolerance", or their salt content tolerance (by slight, moderate, or extreme). Halophiles thrive in bodies of water that have a salt content of 3%, which is the salt content of an ocean--or greater. They also have a high tolerance for low temperatures and radiation, with mechanisms developed to protect from DNA damage.
Where on Earth?
Where in the Universe?
Great Salt Lake, Utah
Owens Lake, California
BY EMILY HEO, KENA CHAVVA & SANJANA RAMANATHAN
-Scientists are studying halophile genes, because they could reveal a way to grow crops on ruined soil.
Halophiles can be found in salt lakes, hypersalty seas, and salt marshes.
"Could Microbes Survive on Mars?." Astronomy Magazine. 20 October 2006. Kalmbach Publishing Co.. 14 December 2013. <http://www.astronomy.com/news-observing/news/2006/10/could%20microbes%20survive%20on%20mars
Extremophiles are likely to live on planets other than Earth because of their ability to adapt to harsh conditions.
-The name "halophile” literally means "salt-loving” in Greek
- Halophiles can reproduce both sexually and asexually.
-Halophiles can grow on saltine crackers and salted meat.
Notice the color?
Halophiles contain pink pigment, causing the water/soil they live in to become red or pink.
Ghaddar, Kamel. "DiversityofLife2012 - Halophile Archaea." DiversityofLife2012 Halophile Archaea. 2013. Tangient LLC. 14 Dec. 2013 <http://diversityoflife2012.wikispaces.com/Halophile Archaea>.
How Halotolerance Works
Halophiles have special protein coverings that allow them to regulate the level of salt entering the cells. Osmoregulation allows water to move from an area of high salt concentration to low, thus keeping the salt level suitable.
For humans, the salinity should be 9 grams of salt out of 1000 grams of water. Compare this to saltwater, which can have a salinity of 35. Consuming too much salt can lead to muscle cramps, thirst, and a dry mouth. Human bodies will attempt to remove the sodium through waste, which is what leads to dehydration.
-The name "Red Sea" came from the halophiles that turned the water red when they were thriving, and the phrase "red herring" also comes from halophiles.
McDonald, Aubrey. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CDEQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Falrlab.pdx.edu%2Fmedia%2Fhalophiles.ppt&ei=yiCyUoOzMNPjsAS88IGoAw&usg=AFQjCNFcCAFmhXYqOPo6U3ceTD0ksZPg3w&bvm=bv.58187178,d.cWc&cad=rja
"Halophiles." Oracle Thinkquest. undefined. . 14 December 2013. <http://library.thinkquest.org/CR0212089/halo.htm>.
Allred, Ashlee, Baxter, Bonnie K.. "Microbial Life in Hypersaline Environments." Microbial Life. n.d.. Carleton College. 14 December 2013. <http://serc.carleton.edu/microbelife/extreme/hypersaline/index.html>.
Dehydration can lead to:
less blood sent to organs
Giuggio, Vicki M.. "What if you drink saltwater?" 16 February 2012. HowStuffWorks.com. <http://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/what-if/what-if-you-drink-saltwater.htm> 18 December 2013.
There is evidence that salt water flows under Mars's surface and perhaps even on it. In addition to that, Mars is known to be a cold planet, with surface temperatures as low as -195 degrees Fahrenheit. The low temperatures of Mars do not deter halophiles, as they have developed a mechanism to protect against DNA damage.
Europa is another potential place where halophiles could exist. There is evidence of an ocean under its icy surface, which might contain salt. In fact, this moon of Jupiter is also known to have some key ingredients for life: water, chemical processes, and an energy source.
"Frequently Asked Questions About Europa" 12 November 2012. www.nasa.gov
18 December 2013
Geysers on this moon of Saturn shot into space were discovered to contain salt. Enceladus could have a body of water beneath its surface, and the salinity could make it possible for the halophiles to inhabit it.
Redd, Nola Taylor. "Icy Saturn Moon May Be Covering a Salty Sea." Space.com. 22 June 2011. Techmedianetwork.com. 18 Dec. 2013 <http://www.space.com/12043-saturn-moon-enceladus-salty-sea-underground.html>.