Stony bacteria

Lake-dwelling bacterium has hard lumps inside it

By Roberta Kwok, 14:12 PM May 14, 2012

Scientists have discovered a new type of bacterium with a very unusual surprise inside. Within each single-celled microbe are little, hard lumps similar to the bones inside our bodies. These tiny stones make the microbes heavier, perhaps so that the bacteria can sink to the lake floor communities in which they like to live.

Researchers collected the new species, named Candidatus Gloeomargarita lithophora, from a lake in Central Mexico and then grew the bacteria in a lab aquarium. When the...

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