Nanobugs Amaze Scientists
“If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.”
A series of unlikely discoveries has scientists shaking their heads. They have discovered the smallest creatures ever seen three miles below the Earth’s surface, happily living where the temperatures go as high as 338 degrees.
The creatures were discovered as part of the Deep Subsurface Microbiology Program. This scientific effort is searching for subsurface microbes which might feed on and break down underground pollutants. At 20 to 150 nanometers in length, they seem too small to be alive. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter. The average human hair is 10,000 nanometers across. Atoms average 3-5 nanometers in size. So a creature only four or five times the size of an atom doesn’t seem as though it should be alive. After all, a cell wall is five to seven nanometers thick. DNA alone is five to six nanometers thick. So, with just two cell walls and a little DNA, the smallest of these creatures – called “nanobes” – seem too small to be living creatures. For this reason scientists decided they can’t be alive. But after study, scientists have found that these creatures do indeed have DNA and are made of the elements of life – carbon, nitrogen and oxygen. And they do grow like other living things.
Nanobes are another demonstration that nothing is too hard for God, nor is there anywhere He is not. This is a comfort for us since God has spared nothing, including the life of His own Son, to bring about our salvation.
Lord, You can do all things. Let me be comforted by this truth and the truth that You have loved me in Jesus Christ. Amen.
Discover, 1/01. “It’s a Small World After All.” p. 58.