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Strain 121: Wikis

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Strain 121
Scientific classification
Domain: Archaea
Kingdom: Crenarchaeota
Phylum: Crenarchaeota
Class: Thermoprotei
Order: Desulfurococcales
Family: Pyrodictiaceae
Genus: "Geogemma"
Species: "G. barossii"

Strain 121 is a single-celled microbe, of the domain Archaea. First discovered 200 miles (320 km) off Puget Sound in a hydrothermal vent, it is a hyperthermophile, able to survive and reproduce at 121 °C (250 °F) (hence its name). It is the only known form of life that can tolerate such incredibly high temperatures. 130 °C (266 °F) is proven to be only bacteriostatic for Strain 121, meaning that although growth is halted, the archaeum remains viable, and can resume reproducing once it has been transferred to a cooler medium.

The ability to grow at 121 degrees Celsius is significant because medical equipment is exposed to this temperature for sterilization in an autoclave. Prior to the 2003 discovery of Strain 121, a fifteen-minute exposure to autoclave temperatures was believed to kill all living organisms.

Strain 121 metabolizes by reducing iron oxide.

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