Life on the Edge—the Biology of Organisms Inhabiting Extreme Environments: An Introduction to the Symposium

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The Journal of Integrative and Comparative Biology

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Life persists, even under extremely harsh conditions. While the existence of extremophiles is well known, the mechanisms by which these organisms evolve, perform basic metabolic functions, reproduce, and survive under extreme physical stress are often entirely unknown. Recent technological advances in terms of both sampling and studying extremophiles have yielded new insight into their evolution, physiology and behavior, from microbes and viruses to plants to eukaryotes. The goal of the “Life on the Edge—the Biology of Organisms Inhabiting Extreme Environments” symposium was to unite researchers from taxonomically and methodologically diverse backgrounds to highlight new advances in extremophile biology. Common themes and new insight that emerged from the symposium included the important role of symbiotic associations, the continued challenges associated with sampling and studying extremophiles and the important role these organisms play in terms of studying climate change. As we continue to explore our planet, especially in difficult to reach areas from the poles to the deep sea, we expect to continue to discover new and extreme circumstances under which life can persist.


© The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights reserved.



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