How They’re Different

Although many archaea have tough outer cell walls, these walls contain different kinds of amino acids and sugars than those found in bacteria. Archaeal cell membranes also are chemically distinct from bacterial membranes with differing lipid structures and chemical links. This means that drugs that slow or kill bacteria by interfering with their ability to produce certain key proteins have no effect on archaea.


The archaea very much resemble bacteria, so much so that they were once thought to be a weird group of bacteria. However, by studying archaeal cells on a molecular level, scientists have now come to think that these "weird bacteria" actually are a separate category of life altogether. In fact, in some ways, archaea are more like you than they are like bacteria!


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