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Definition Any organism, usually a bacterium, that has adapted to extreme conditions–e.g., high or low temperatures, pH, pressure, salt concentrations
Locations Boiling springs, hydrothermal vents on ocean floor, deserts, North and South Poles
Comment The unusual proteins and enzymes produced by extremophiles that allow them to survive in hostile environments may prove useful for performing various tasks in less extreme environments. The image is that of the (very) hot springs at Yellowstone National Park, the colours of which are linked to extremophiles (thermophiles) in the spring.
Definition Eymologically (extremo-, extreme, –phile, love of) any individual who thrives on the adrenalin rush of extreme sports could be labelled an extremophile, but as yet, the term has not been widely commandeered by non-microbiologists.