Bacteria prefer milk chocolate to dark chocolate and will swim towards it on an agar plate, so teachers have found out this week (15-19 July) at a summer school run by the Society for General Microbiology at the University of Reading. The experiment is one of a series of A-level practicals currently being produced for teachers by the Society.
“We have developed the chocolate experiment to show that bacteria can detect a food source and swim towards it – a process called chemotaxis. But we’ve seen that they are fussy eaters. They swim towards milk chocolate, but away from dark chocolate. The experiment is really visual because the bacterium we use, Janthinobacterium lividum, produces a bright purple pigment around the milk chocolate drop,” says Dr Liz Sockett from Nottingham University.
The week-long residential course has given 50 teachers from around Britain the chance to hear about new research in areas of microbiology that can tied to the A-level biology syllabus. Teachers have been brushing up on their practical microbiology techniques as well as listening to talks on bioethics, antibiotic resistance and vaccination.
Tracey Duncombe | AlphaGalileo
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Thomas Heine, Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at TU Dresden, together with his team, first predicted a topological 2D polymer in 2019. Only one year later, an international team led by Italian researchers was able to synthesize these materials and experimentally prove their topological properties. For the renowned journal Nature Materials, this was the occasion to invite Thomas Heine to a News and Views article, which was published this week. Under the title "Making 2D Topological Polymers a reality" Prof. Heine describes how his theory became a reality.
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Scientists took a leukocyte as the blueprint and developed a microrobot that has the size, shape and moving capabilities of a white blood cell. Simulating a blood vessel in a laboratory setting, they succeeded in magnetically navigating the ball-shaped microroller through this dynamic and dense environment. The drug-delivery vehicle withstood the simulated blood flow, pushing the developments in targeted drug delivery a step further: inside the body, there is no better access route to all tissues and organs than the circulatory system. A robot that could actually travel through this finely woven web would revolutionize the minimally-invasive treatment of illnesses.
A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Stuttgart invented a tiny microrobot that resembles a white blood cell...
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