The role played by solvents at extreme pressure
Combination of experiment and theory gives insights
Some living organisms thrive under extraordinary conditions, such as the deep sea. But just how do they withstand the enormous pressure?
Researchers at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum and the Technische Universität Dortmund have examined how the interactions between solvents and biomolecules change at high pressure. With infrared spectroscopy and computer simulations, they analysed the behaviour of the small molecule TMAO – short for trimethylamine oxide – in a pressure range from one bar to ten kilobars. These results could help us understand how organisms have adapted to life in the deep sea on the molecular level.