New Species Discovery - Cosmococcus Hapke

While the fields of science are very specific, non-specialized science officers serve to assist the specialists in their tests and analysis. All Science Officers are dedicated to Seeking out new and researching old phenomenons, species and planets.
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Siobhan Crystal
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Stardate: 220502

Mission Name: New Species Discovery - Cosmococcus Hapke

Reporting: LtCDR Siobhan Crystal Vice-Chief Science Officer
USS Maxwell

Location: Exploring Hapke Cluster

After taking a brief detour to witness the destruction of a planet by its star I was tasked with examining dilithium samples that had been extracted from the planet.

These are the findings of some unusual microbes found in the samples:

Name: Cosmococcus Hapke Named for the cluster in which the samples were found and the type of organism Class.

Characteristics: The microbe is an archaea in its properties with a slightly spiral shape. Size ranges from 2 to 4 microns. An extremophile, it is capable of existing in temperatures from nearly -150 degrees to 900 degrees Celsius. It is also anaerobic existing within a bubble. So long as the microbe remains attached to the dilithium it survives, high atmospheric pressures from 0 atm to 30 atm. Exists solely on the dilithium crystal to which it is attached by breaking down the heptoferranides present within the crystal. The waste from the digestion of the heptoferranides aid in creating a protective bubble of pseudo-proteins that protect the microbe from hostile environments.

Small samples were extracted and subjected to several tests which demonstrated the hardiness of the microbe. Of note, however, that while able to survive huge temperature extremes, the microbe had adverse reactions to pure oxygen which caused the microbe to "bloat." The microbe's dimensions returned to near normal after being returned to an anaerobic state which demonstrated amazing resiliency. Further tests showed the bloating occurring at anything over 1.6% oxygen. It is possible that oxygen saturation would purify the dilithium of any colonies, but it would also result in the destruction of those microbes. Additionally, if separated from the dilithium, the microbe exhibited signs of degeneration, but stabilized when re-attached, denoting a symbiotic dependency with the crystal

The microbes are very old. The colony on one crystal may be close to 50,000 years old. The oldest individual microbe was well over 15,000 years old. Replication of the microbes appears to be a very long process. Because of this, a colony of microbes may be able to live a thousand millennia on a single shard of dlilthium no more than .5 meters in length.

Of special note were some perceived structural differences between the sample of dilithium containing the Cosmococcus Hapke colonies and the control sample that was without. The alignment of the crystals appeared to be more structurally sound within the sample containing the Cosmococcus Hapke. These results will be forward to Geology for further review.

Conclusions: Cosmococcus Hapke is a fascinating organism that is currently without a home. It is truly resilient and may contain some properties that could be beneficial in the way of strengthening dilithium crystals, but any work in this area must be done in a way to preserve the organism. Perhaps, the method by which the Cosmococcus Hapke creates its own biological "shield" may be more beneficial. Regardless, since these are the only known samples known, barring any existing within the rocks and dust after its home planet's explosion, all care must be taken to preserve this truly unique organism.

Future missions in the area may want to take samples of the planetary debris to ascertain if any other surviving colonies of the microbe exist.

Submitted by

LtCDR Siobhan Crystal Vice-Chief Science Officer
USS Maxwell
Last edited by Siobhan Crystal on 220502.2308, edited 1 time in total.

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Drewski Northman
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Great work and a fascinating find. Congratulations on earning your specialization in Xenobiology!
In Service,

Captain Drewski Northman
CO, USS Atlas NCC 74138
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Ferre Flamand
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Great discovery and congratulations with your branch expertise :)
Vice Chief Science Officer
SS Tranquility
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