Hacker News Re-Imagined

One centimeter long bacterium discovered

  • 243 points
  • 11 days ago

  • @deathgripsss
  • Created a post

One centimeter long bacterium discovered

@baltimore 11 days

Replying to @deathgripsss 🎙

Here is what I want to see when I click that link: a picture. Of a bacterium. Next to a ruler. Thank you.

UPDATE: My bad, there are plenty of pictures in the supplemental materials downloadable further down the page


@Jiro 11 days


This is one of those cases where the genetic material is repeated multiple times inside the same "organism". It would be considered to be a filament made up of multiple cells, except that there isn't anything separating the individual cells, so it's technically "one cell".

It's like roping together 200 boats and claiming that you've created a mile long boat. You sort of did, but it's not really the first thing people think of when they see that phrase.


@JoeAltmaier 11 days

@Metacelsus 11 days

Interesting. It seems like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thiomargarita_namibiensis only much larger.

(Previous coverage discussing the preprint: https://www.science.org/content/article/largest-bacterium-ev... )


@joshuahaglund 11 days

In San Pedro CA there's a beach called White Point Park, named for the mats of white sulfur oxidizing bacteria that grow in geothermal spring water. A Japanese family ran a bath house with the water from a geothermal spring but an earthquake damaged the flow and then being sent to internment camps ended it. I was gazing in the tide pools there when I got a whiff of sulfur, like at a hot spring, and followed my nose to a tide pool full of white fuzzy sulfur oxidizing bacteria (I think).

My pic: https://photos.app.goo.gl/1SfckUMzt4Qp5Ymy5

divers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06bvGXtmcMI


history: http://blogs.dailybreeze.com/history/2010/06/02/white-point-...


@ogogmad 10 days

I guess it's not thick enough to see with the naked eye.


@fnordpiglet 10 days

I for one welcome our enormous bacteria overlords.


@beefman 11 days

Human neurons can be a meter long.


@im3w1l 11 days

Really neat bacterium. Sounds like it's on the verge of becoming an eukaryote.



@pvaldes 11 days

Hum... I'm unsure and my sea spider sense is tingling. My first impression would be an egg sack like those from Opisthobranchia that could explain the DNA in pouches, or maybe a small bryozoa. If is covered in bacteria it could explain the genetic analysis.

Another possibility would be some kind of crystals growing from sulfur and covered in bacteria.

We need and electronic microscope image here and hystological cuts stained with gram.


@chrisbrandow 11 days

Amazing that cell walls are strong enough to maintain integrity at that size!


@atmb4u 11 days

went down the rabbit hole and found this: Largest single cell organism (1.6 inches) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valonia_ventricosa


@jasonhansel 11 days

Not the only unicellular organism visible to the naked eye. For example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valonia_ventricosa


@Symmetry 11 days

I guess being long and thin they don't violate the square/cube laws that normally keep bacteria from getting too big given that they have to use their outer walls rather than mitochondria to respirate. Still very impressive.


@causi 10 days

I need to find a good youtube video on the physics of cell membranes and cytoskeletons. It's completely wild that a lipid bilayer can be strong enough for an ostrich egg or flexible enough for an amoeba.


@sydthrowaway 11 days

Very bad news


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