Carl Richard Woese discovering the bacteria-like Archea

High School ・Biology ・MLA ・1 Sources

The microbiologist and physicist, Carl Richard Woesa is responsibe for the discovery of Archaea. Archaea, formerly known as archaebacteria have single cell with no membrane and are proposed by the microbiologist and physicist to be completely different from bacteria. He had a lot of interest in the genetic code. He analyzed the sequence of neuclotides of 5S ribosomal RNA from various organisms. This eventually became the accurate way of studying the evolutionary difference between different organisms for four main reasons:
• It has a slow rate of mutation.
• It works the same way in all organisms.
• It only interacts with proteins.
• The genes coding them are less likely to be transferred to organisms of different species.
In order to classify many organisms, Woese started examining 16S ribosomal RNA that had over 1,500 nucleotides contrary to the 5S that had 120 nucleotides. He sequenced the fragments using RNA figure-printing method. In the course of the analysis on a methane-producing organism, the normal pattern was altered in an unfamiliar way. Normally, about 100 spots having stretches of RNA would be observed, however, the spots present on the 16S ribosomal RNA in all other bacteria were lacking. New spots were identified that defined a new ribosomal RNA sequence, a different domain of life. This was observed in different other organisms for instance in some extremophiles (Noller).
Woese contributed to a better understanding of evolution and organization biology. This has offered insight to many scientists as archaea play a vital role in many ecosystem processes, for instance, biogeochemical cycles.

Work Cited

Noller, Harry. “Carl Woese (1928-2012).” Nature, vol. 493, no. 7434, Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved., Jan. 2013, p. 610,

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