Class Central is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Online Course

The Extremes of Life: Microbes and Their Diversity

Kyoto University via edX

Overview

Life on our planet is diverse. While we can easily recognize this in our everyday surroundings, an even more diverse world of life can be seen when we look under a microscope. This is the world of microorganisms. Microorganisms are everywhere, and although some are notorious for their roles in human disease, many play important roles in sustaining our global environment. Among the wide variety of microorganisms, here we will explore those that thrive in the most extreme environments, the extremophiles.

In this course, we will discover how diverse life is on our planet and consider the basic principles that govern evolution. We will also learn how we can classify organisms. Following this, we will have a look at several examples of extreme environments, and introduce the microorganisms that thrive under these harsh conditions. We will lay emphasis on the thermophiles, extremophiles that grow at high temperatures and will study how proteins from thermophiles can maintain their structure and function at high temperatures.

Syllabus

Week 1: Evolution and the Diversity of Life

  • Evolution is a result of diversification and selection
  • How can we classify life?
  • Phylogenetic analysis
  • The three domains of life

Week 2: Life in Boiling Water

  • Extreme environments
  • Hyperthermophiles
  • More hyperthermophiles
  • Thermostable proteins from hyperthermophiles

Week 3: Diversity of Extremophiles

  • Preparing for a hot reaction
  • Watching a hot reaction
  • Extremophiles
  • More extremophiles

Week 4: Genome Sequences

  • What they tell us
  • How can we use them?
  • Using the genome to find new metabolic pathways | Part 1 and Part 2
  • Diversity of the microbial world

Taught by

Haruyuki Atomi

Related Courses

Reviews

3.5 rating, based on 2 reviews

Start your review of The Extremes of Life: Microbes and Their Diversity

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I enjoyed the course and learned some key concepts about microbes and environments I use in frequently in my work.
  • Profile image for Maria Ferdinand
    Maria F.

    Maria completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

Class Central

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.

Sign up for free

Never stop learning Never Stop Learning!

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.

Sign up for free