• The existence of ultra-small bacteria (aka “nanobacteria” or “nannobacteria”) has been debated for two decades, but there hasn’t been a comprehensive electron microscopy and DNA-based description of the microbes until now.
  • They are about 200 nanometers (.2 micrometers) in width with a volume of only about 0.009 cubic nanomicrons (millionth of a meter). About 150 of these bacteria could fit inside an Escherichia coli bacteria cell.
  • The diverse bacteria were found in groundwater and are thought to be quite common. This is the smallest a cell can be and still accommodate enough material to sustain life, the researchers say.

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