SETI bioastro: FW: [NSS-Discuss] Venus-bound spacecraft: An idea from the gut

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From: Larry Klaes (
Date: Fri Jun 15 2001 - 10:56:12 PDT

-----Original Message-----
From: David Grinspoon []
Sent: Thursday, June 14, 2001 3:57 PM
To: Larry Klaes
Subject: Re: FW: [NSS-Discuss] Venus-bound spacecraft: An idea from the

         Instruments? , what about making ORGANISMS that survive in the Venus
clouds using this trick!? I've always thought it would be disapointingly
nonresilient of life to not figure out a way to survive there. Tons of
free energy, long droplet lifetimes, lots of juicy sulfur chemistry. Why

I think I touched on this in Venus Revealed.

Yeah, check out page 317 of the paperback.

Anybody want to place bets on extant life on Venus vs. Mars?

David Grinspoon

** David H. Grinspoon **
** Southwest Research Institute **
** 1050 Walnut Street **
** Suite 426 **
** Boulder, CO 80302 **
** (303) 546-9670 **

On Wed, 13 Jun 2001, Larry Klaes wrote:

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf Of
> Sent: Wednesday, June 13, 2001 4:05 PM
> To:
> Subject: [NSS-Discuss] Venus-bound spacecraft: An idea from the gut
> [to NSS Member Discussion group, from ]
> If anyone is interested in designing instruments that would survive the
> acids
> of the Venus atmosphere, appended below is a wild longshot area of inquiry
> from yesterday's New York times: creating shielding from molecules in the
> shape of h.pylori bacteria's urease enzyme. (O the joys of lay
> =============================
> Date: 06/12/01 9:07:42 AM Central Daylight Time
> Secrets of a Survivor
> The bacterium Helicobacter pylori never ceases to amaze. Two decades
> ago, to the surprise of many, it was found to be the major cause of
> ulcers. Perhaps half the world's population is infected by it, and it is
> only known bug that is able to survive in the harsh acidic conditions of
> stomach.
> Now researchers in South Korea have discovered a secret to H.
> survival: It takes a circle-the-wagons approach.
> H. pylori produces an enzyme that converts urea found in gastric
> into ammonia. The ammonia, in turn, neutralizes the acidity of the gastric
> juices in the immediate vicinity of the bacteria, creating a safe
> microenvironment for the micro-organism.
> One puzzle for scientists has been to determine how the enzyme,
> can itself survive all that acidity. The Korean researchers, reporting in
> Nature Structural Biology, have now shown how it is done by uncovering the
> enzyme's crystal structure.
> Unlike other bacterial versions of urease, the type produced by H.
> pylori is unique in that it has a spherical shape, with a cavity in the
> middle. What's more, the enzyme's 12 active sites are all toward the
> This structure, the researchers suggest, offers protection from the
> attacking
> acid, allowing the enzyme to work on the urea in relative peace.
> The researchers say that their work may help in developing treatments
> for pylori-induced ulcers. Making urease more vulnerable to stomach acid,
> for example, would mean less ammonia, and thus less protection for the
> bacteria.
> n=
> b89c24ad0703e6b3
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