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 Extremophiles are organisms with the ability to thrive in extreme conditions (from a human perspective) such as: deep ocean hydroothermal vents[1]

They are mostly prokaryotic.

Extremophiles can be divided into sub-groups relating to environmental conditions in which they grow optimally[2]:

acidophilic optimal growth in acidic conditions (pH 1-5)
alkaliphilic optimal growth alkaline conditions (pH>9)
halophilic environments with high salt concentration
thermophilic optimal growth between 60-80 degrees celsius
hyperthermophilic optimal growth above 80 degrees celsius
psychrophilic optimal growth at 15 degrees celsius or lower
piezophilic/barophilic optimal growth high hydrostatic pressure 
xerophilic growth in dry conditions with low water availabilty 
oligotrophic growth in nutritionally limited environments

growth in rocks or pores in mineral grains

some extremophiles have multiple adaptions. e.g. thermoacidophiles  

Future advances

extromophiles have extremozymes which are the enzymes that enable the organism to live in harsh conditions. This could influence: genetically based medications and industrial chemicals and processes[3].  


  1. NOAA 10/10/17 https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/extremophile.html
  2. https://www.britannica.com/science/extremophile
  3. NOAA 10/10/17 https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/extremophile.html
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