Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Nanobacteria in clouds could spread disease, scientists claim

06.04.2005


’Micro-organisms could also prompt rainfall’



Micro-organisms in clouds could play a crucial role in the spread of disease and in the formation of rain drops, scientists have claimed. The radical theories about nanobacteria – micro-organisms considerably smaller than ordinary bacteria - in clouds are published in two recent articles in the Journal of Proteome Research by Dr Andrei P. Sommer of the University of Ulm, Germany, and Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe of Cardiff University, UK.

They say nanobacteria are now accepted as being widely prevalent in the terrestrial environment and that their evidence is compelling for the existence of these nano-organisms, even in the stratosphere. In humans, nanobacteria have now been identified on four continents, they add.


Dr Sommer and Professor Wickramasinghe further suggest that nanobacteria’s involvement in several serious diseases such as the formation kidney stones, heart disease, and HIV is also slowly being recognised by the scientific community. "Experiments have shown that nanobacteria are excreted from the body in urine and their dispersal from the ground into the atmosphere and stratosphere appears to be inevitable," said Dr Sommer.

The scientists argue that their occurrence in clouds could play a crucial role in the global dispersal of infective agents, and might also play a prominent role in the nucleation of cloud drops.

"This happens because nanobacteria, lifted from the ground by winds, could transit between the high humidity region of the clouds and the relatively dry inter-cloud regions, leading to oscillations between a dormant state and one of activation," explained Professor Wickramasinghe. "Remnants of a sticky protein (slime) coating nanobacteria makes them act as extremely efficient cloud condensation nuclei, with a tendency to aggregate to clusters upon contact."

Their work corroborates the findings of Ruprecht Jaenicke, of the Institute for Atmospheric Physics at Mainz University, Germany, on bioaerosols (airborne contaminants) and proteins in the atmosphere reported in New Scientist (31 March) and Science (1 April). The contribution of nanobacteria to pathogenic bioaerosols, in the view of the authors, must overwhelm all other types of biological particles in the atmosphere.

Prof. Chandra Wickramasinghe | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cardiff.ac.uk

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Nanoparticle Exposure Can Awaken Dormant Viruses in the Lungs
16.01.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Cholera bacteria infect more effectively with a simple twist of shape
13.01.2017 | Princeton University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

Im Focus: Newly proposed reference datasets improve weather satellite data quality

UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration

"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...

Im Focus: Repairing defects in fiber-reinforced plastics more efficiently

Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.

Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Multiregional brain on a chip

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

New technology enables 5-D imaging in live animals, humans

16.01.2017 | Information Technology

Researchers develop environmentally friendly soy air filter

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>