Medical Definition of Extremophile

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Extremophile: An organism that lives under extreme conditions. An example of an extremophile is Methanococcus jannaschii, a microbe that lives near hydrothermal vents deep beneath the sea. The term extremophile was coined late in the 20th century from extreme + -phile, liking = liking extreme (conditions).

Reviewed on 9/7/2018

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