Home » News & Blogs » Tungsten as Interstellar Radiation Shielding?
Bookmark and Share
Astro Watch

Tungsten as Interstellar Radiation Shielding?

11 Jul 2019, 20:39 UTC
Tungsten as Interstellar Radiation Shielding?
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

A boiling point of 5900 degrees Celsius and diamond-like hardness in combination with carbon: tungsten is the heaviest metal, yet has biological functions - especially in heat-loving microorganisms. A team led by Tetyana Milojevic from the Faculty of Chemistry at the University of Vienna report for the first time rare microbial-tungsten interactions at the nanometer range. Based on these findings, not only the tungsten biogeochemistry, but also the survivability of microorganisms in outer space conditions can be investigated. The results appeared recently in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology.As a hard and rare metal, tungsten, with its extraordinary properties and highest melting point of all metals, is a very unlike choice for a biological system. Only a few microorganisms, such as thermophilic archaea or cell nucleus-free microorganisms, have adapted to the extreme conditions of a tungsten environment and found a way to assimilate tungsten.Two recent studies by biochemist and astrobiologist Tetyana Milojevic from the Department of Biophysical Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry at the University of Vienna, shed light on the possible role of microorganisms in a tungsten-enriched environment and describe a nanoscale tungsten-microbial interface of the extreme heat- and acid-loving microorganism Metallosphaera sedula grown with tungsten compounds. It is also this ...

Latest Vodcast

Latest Podcast

Advertise PTTU

NASA Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

astronomy_pod