Microbiologists from Wageningen have discovered a strange form of digestion in an exotic microorganism. The `Rushing fireball´, Latin name Pyrococcus furiosus, has reinvented the wheel for several steps of sugar digestion.
Pyrococcus furiosus, which was discovered 15 years ago on an Italian volcanic island, digests sugar somewhat differently from humans, animals, plants and bacteria. All organisms, convert glucose into pyruvate by means of a glycolysis. Pyrococcus furiosus makes use of other, non-related enzymes.
Genealogical research has revealed that the enzymes in the ‘Rushing fireball’ have evolved independently from other microorganisms. In other words, Pyrococcus furiosus independently invented the wheel of sugar digestion. Meanwhile, with the help of gene technology, the Wageningen scientists are trying to make several of the sugar digestion enzymes suitable for industrial applications. Now that the route of the sugar digestion is known, the researchers are trying to find the regulation of this route. A first step has been taken. The researchers found the same piece of DNA prior to 21 genes connected to sugar digestion. The piece is present in the so-called promoter sequence. The 21 genes are involved in the digestion of alpha sugars such as maltose and starch. The piece probably plays an important role in the regulation of these genes. Since its discovery, Pyrococcus furiosus has attracted a lot of interest. The organism, discovered close to the beach on the Italian island of Vulcano, survives best in a salty environment at a temperature of 100oC. Pyrococcus is industrially interesting because its enzymes are not destroyed at higher temperatures. Scientists are studying the organism’s extraordinary living conditions and its variety of nutritional habits.
Michel Philippens | alphagalileo
Single-stranded DNA and RNA origami go live
15.12.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard
New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists
15.12.2017 | Louisiana State University
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences
15.12.2017 | Life Sciences