This is Thermus aquaticus, the first extremophile ever discovered. That wasn’t until 1966, when Dr. Thomas Brock and an undergraduate named Hudson Freeze, both from Indiana University’s biology department, visited Yellowstone National Park. They isolated this bacterium that had no problem surviving the extremely high temperatures of Yellowstone’s hot springs.

Taq, as Brock and Freeze nicknamed it, holds a special place in science not only for being the original extremophile, but also because it is the source of Taq polymerase. Until 1983, when the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique was invented, scientists had a hard time studying DNA. PCR would allow scientists to make many copies of (or “amplify”) the DNA sequences they wanted to look at. But there was another problem: PCR required high heat, and how could polymerase be kept working at those temperatures? Well, polymerase from normal organisms couldn’t, but guess whose could! Scientists started using polymerase from the very same strain that Brock and Freeze brought back from Yellowstone almost 20 years earlier. The rest is history. PCR using Taq polymerase has allowed for the creation of drugs and vaccines, genetic tests for diseases, tools used in crime scene analysis, and sequencing of the human genome, among so many other scientific advances.

Not too bad for a “mere” bacterium!

With a God || Henry & Aqua


Henry fumbled with the doorknob for only a moment before yanking the door open and pulling Aqua in, chuckling giddily. This was happening, this was actually happening! With such a beautiful man!! Henry considered himself the luckiest man in the world.

He slammed the door shut behind them and pulled Aqua close. Henry took a moment to tenderly move Aqua’s bangs out of the way before kissing him deeply. 

“Gods, you’re so beautiful Aqua. I’ve never seen a more attractive man, there’s like, this aura around you. I’m so excited you want to do this with me.” Henry mumbled between harsh kisses, pulling off his own jacket to leave on the floor.

Help Me Out | Fiersome & Claire


Claire should have listened to Aquaticus when he warned her about the cursed shrine items. Of course, she was greedy and wanted some kind of spoils from her voyage so she took the gold coins anyways and now she was paying for it. Since she’d gotten back to Arcadia, her head did not stop hurting. It was a constant ache, duller in the beginning but with each day it grew increasingly hard to ignore. No painkiller could quell its attack on her and Claire found herself being more and more debilitated by it.

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