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Researchers Complete Sequence of Aquifax Gene

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SAN DIEGO--Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory, the University of Illinois, the Universitaet Regensberg, and Diversa, a company here working on the discovery of high-value enzymes and bioactive compounds, announced that they have sequenced the 1.5-million-base-pair genome of Aquifax aeolicus. The sequence of the bacterium--capable of surviving at temperatures up to 203 degrees F and in environments with only 7.5 parts per million of oxygen concentration--provides new insight into the origin of the first bacteria, which has been hypothesized to have originated in a high-heat, low-oxygen environment, Diversa reported.

The scientists' research is published in the March 26 issue of Nature.

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