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3. Termites

A. Spirochetes play a
fundamental role when it comes to the nutrition of termites. They use acetate
produced by microbes as a major source of energy and of Carbon. Spirochetes N2
fixation also plays an important role in the nitrogen economy of termites. The
N2 fixation of these spirochetes is significant for a lot of different
environments

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B. Acetogenic
spirochete:

-Spirochetes that
have been previously cultured, posses the ability to conserve their energy by
the oxidation of H2

-The reduction assay
of acetylene assays for the cells’ nitrogenase activity

 

Termite:

-Oxidation of the
Acetate produced by the hindgut microbes is one of the most important sources
of energy and Carbon for termites. It supports 100% of the insects’ respiration
requirements

 

C. The capability of spirochetes
to use Hydrogen as a reductant for acetogenesis helps by reconciling the
mysterious domination of acetogenesis over methanogenesis as a Hydrogen sink
in a lot of termites. The zone in which the most
H is consumed is attributed to spirochetes, which progress amid protozoa in the
anoxic central region.

Also termites are known to produce more
carbon dioxide than all the fossil fuels burned all around the world multiplied
by 10. Termites that have a large acetogenic population are less of a concern
because hindgut microbes use both hydrogen and carbon dioxide to produce the
Acetate that they need as an energy source and for their respiration processes

 

 

7. The
Martian

1. Mark Watney uses human excrement; because it
is the only fertilizer he has access to. He sees this as a safe option because
he believes that all the pathogens that can be present in his waste, he already
has them anyway. We also need to keep in mind that he did not only use his
feces but also his crewmates’ waste that was stored.  Watney and his Crewmembers will be at risk of
acquiring diseases or parasites even though pathogens tend to disappear fairly
quickly after they are outside of the body. In America they developed a
vermiculture experiment with the goal of creating a environment friendly method
to recycle feces. Even though this was shown to be sanitary, it was not that
easy to grow food with it. Additionally, a single astronaut’s waste would not
produce enough food, quickly enough and in the book he is able to produce lot
of potatoes fairly quickly

 

2.

Also in the novel there is a breach in the
structure of their green house, which randomly started decompressing and
suddenly end up being frozen. In the novel, it is stated that their stock of
potatoes has run out, not because of the fact that the plants could not be
restored but because the microbes became frozen and died. This is not quite accurate
because microbes can actually survive in freezing conditions. Even in a lot of
labs, microbes’ strains are stored in freezers with extremely cold temperatures.

Microbes can survive in freezing conditions due to the fact that they can repair
their DNA even if the temperature is super low. Microbes are built of macromolecules,
which even by being frozen, are still subject to deterioration. If the cells
could actually not make repairs of DNA, the microbes would have be completely dead,
but due to the fact that they can repair their own DNA, even if it takes a lot
of years, microbes are eventually able to repair some of the damages to their
DNAs which allows them to survive. 

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