Beneficial bacteria have fast-tracked evolution to solve some of our pollution problems, according to an article in the November 2004 issue of Microbiology Today, the quarterly magazine of the Society for General Microbiology. Using the same mechanisms that have allowed hospital superbugs to survive in the presence of antibiotics, many bacteria have changed their behaviour and now use our toxic chemicals as a source of food.
Researchers at the University of Wales Bangor have studied the way that bacteria share DNA in order to adapt and survive by using, and so degrade, synthetic chemicals, like dyes and solvents, released into the environment. These moveable pieces of DNA, called plasmids, can be easily passed between bacteria of the same and often very different species.
“Modern industry releases many synthetic chemicals into the environment which are hazardous to us, our livestock and crops,” explains Professor Peter Williams. However, many bacteria are dealing with this problem and removing these substances. Bacteria are using genes that they already had for degrading natural waste materials and exchanging and rearranging them amongst themselves.
Faye Jones | alfa
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University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
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Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
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Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.
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In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...
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20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy