Microorganisms have a long and illustrious history of inhabiting the atmosphere, but how they came to be there in the first place is unclear.
In a new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from the University of Illinois and other institutions reveal that there are hundreds of microorganisms living in the upper atmosphere and they could help us to understand the formation of the atmosphere and how life evolved in the early universe.
“We’re really excited about the results, because they demonstrate that there’s a lot of information here, and it’s not just one thing, it’s a large collection of things,” said co-author and University of Chicago graduate student Daniela Saez.
“This information can help us better understand how life began in the universe.”
The new study is the first to look at how microorganisms are distributed in the lower atmosphere, and that’s where their origins lie.
“There’s a really exciting question about the origins of life, and we’re really curious about what’s going on in the world in this lower atmosphere,” said lead author and University OF Illinois researcher Jonathan Clements.
“It could have a lot to do with how life was formed.”
The study focused on the microbes called hemolymphs, which are the cells that line the air molecules that carry oxygen and water around in the body.
These hemolympians make up the bulk of the lower air.
They have a large number of proteins that are made by living microbes that help regulate the temperature of the air.
In addition, there are several other bacteria that live in the air and can act as the microorganisms in question.
The researchers looked at the proteins, which were produced by a variety of organisms that live inside the hemolyms of microflora.
They identified a number of bacterial species called microorganisms that have a number in common with other bacteria found in the higher atmosphere, including a gene that was previously thought to be a marker for the presence of certain types of microorganism.
The scientists were able to identify a number that are also closely related to microorganisms from the upper-air, including those that can survive temperatures as low as minus 200 degrees Celsius.
“Microorganisms in this upper atmosphere are different from other bacteria in that they have proteins that control the air flow,” said Saez, who was also the first author on the study.
“These proteins are the same proteins that we see in microorganisms at the surface of the Earth.”
Microorganisms live in a wide range of environments in the Earth’s upper atmosphere.
In the lower-air and near the surface, they are found in a number or kinds of water-bearing plants, in soil, in the oceans, in clouds, and on ice caps and glaciers.
“The surface is a very inhospitable environment, but at the same time, it is rich in oxygen,” said Clements, a co-lead author on a study that was recently published in Nature Geoscience.
“If we don’t have oxygen, the air can’t be filled up.
The microorganisms can live there for days without oxygen.
They can grow quickly.”
In the upper air, however, the microfloras are made up of different kinds of cells, including hemolymics, hemizygotes, and endothelial cells, which produce proteins that help control the flow of oxygen and nutrients to hemoglobin in the blood.
These cells can survive a variety types of environments and temperatures.
The structure of the upper atmospheric hemolysm and hemizygmodies has changed over time.
Some of these cells are found deep inside the Earth and in some cases have survived temperatures as high as minus 400 degrees Celsius, which is similar to the temperature at which a human can die from carbon monoxide poisoning.
The study also looked at whether these cells can withstand oxygen starvation, which happens when the microorganisms’ proteins become saturated with oxygen.
These microorganisms have not been observed to survive in a similar environment.
The hemizyl and hemipygymic cells have been found in all types of living organisms.
However, they have not yet been found as the most common type of cells in the environment.
Saez and her colleagues are now trying to understand how the hemizymes are made, and what they are doing in the process.
“What we’re trying to do is understand what the proteins in these hemolymos are doing to control the oxygen flow in the hemoglobin and how they do that,” Saez said.
“And we hope to find out why they do it.”
Saez hopes to develop a model that can better understand the mechanism by which the microclimates of different organisms interact to form these proteins.
Sometime in the future, she will want to use these proteins to create biofuels.
The team is now exploring ways to test whether they can make these biofuils using different types of proteins.
“One of the things that we’re looking for is whether these proteins could be