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biology

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Extremophiles are organisms that thrive in extreme environments. For instance some species of bacteria live in the thermal vents of Yellowstone National Park while others live in the polar ice caps. As you might imagine, these bacteria have some rather remarkable differences that enable their survival in their respective environments.
A. Assuming that all membranes are required to be “fluid” for them to function properly, describe differences that you might expect to find in the membrane phospholipids of bacteria from the two extreme environments described above.
B. On an expedition to Antarctica, you “captured” some wild bacteria. (We are all so very proud of you!) Back in the lab, you try to acclimate them to warmer temperatures by slowly raising the temperature of the growth chamber to 25oC over a period of 5 weeks.
B1. What changes in the membrane phospholipids composition would you expect to find?
B2. What changes in the fluid properties of the membrane would you expect to find?
B3. How would you determine if in fact these changes had occurred? Give the results you expect to find.

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