Photo of the Week by Bruce Gourley

Photo by Bruce Gourley 

bacteria_matA closeup view of a cynaobacteria mat in Yellowstone National Park’s Upper Geyser Basin, home of famous Old Faithful Geyser. The temperature of the water is around 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat-living organisms, called thermophiles, exist in Yellowstone’s hot springs and pools. Twenty years ago scientists discovered that an enzyme in a certain thermophile could be used to make DNA copying much more faster and efficient, a finding that led to DNA sequencing. DNA fingerprinting, in short, came out of Yellowstone. And the dramatic growth of biochemisty and genetics we also owe to Yellowstone.

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