First salt-loving bug sequenced BBC

Scientists have sequenced the genome of the first salt-loving extremophile, a micro-organism that can survive in conditions 10 times saltier than seawater. The genetic data will shed light on how these primitive organisms are able to thrive in extreme environments like salt mines or salty lakes. Ultimately, researchers hope to harness the bug’s genetic secrets for use in biotechnology, for example to develop rice that grows in salty soil. The information might also be used to investigate whether inhospitable planets like Mars once harboured similar lifeforms, as well as gaining a deeper understanding of how life arose on Earth.