Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Earth Science News .




FLORA AND FAUNA
Changing the conversation -- polymers disrupt bacterial communication
by Staff Writers
Nottingham, UK (SPX) Nov 14, 2013


The researchers used the bioluminescent marine bacterium Vibrio harveyi, as it allows them to easily track the changes in the bacteria's behaviour by measuring the pattern and intensity of the natural light produced by the organism.

Artificial materials based on simple synthetic polymers can disrupt the way in which bacteria communicate with each other, a study led by scientists at The University of Nottingham has shown.

The findings, published in the journal Nature Chemistry, could further our knowledge on how better to control and exploit bacteria in the future and will have implications for work in the emerging field of synthetic biology.

Professor Cameron Alexander, in the University's School of Pharmacy, led the study. He said: "This is an exciting and unexpected finding for us and comes as a result of research which was very much curiosity driven.

"It gives us more information about how to design artificial cells and to produce materials that will interact with microorganisms and control their behaviour, with a whole host of potential applications including drug discovery and energy production."

The study, which also involved scientists from the universities of Birmingham and Newcastle, was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and The University of Nottingham.

As part of their research into the development of artificial cells and programmable bacterial coatings, the team found that polymers - long-chain molecules - that were able to arrange bacteria into clustered communities were, surprisingly, encouraging these bacteria to actively 'talk' to each other.

This communication occurred by quorum sensing (QS), a way in which bacteria signal to each other, and coordinate response to environment. Quorum sensing also controls the way in which bacteria release certain types of molecules - for example as a defence mechanism or as tools for infection.

This finding opens up the possibility to influence microbial behaviour by controlling their ability to form productive communities. This can be exploited to prevent the release of toxins during the spread of infection or, alternatively, the production of useful molecules which can act as drugs, food source or biofuels.

The researchers used the bioluminescent marine bacterium Vibrio harveyi, as it allows them to easily track the changes in the bacteria's behaviour by measuring the pattern and intensity of the natural light produced by the organism.

Building on some intriguing initial results, the team of pharmacists, microbiologists chemists and computer scientists were also able to produce computational models predicting and explaining the behaviour of the microbial communities, which were crucial to deduct simple design principles for the programmable interaction of bacteria and polymers.

Overall, this research offers new understanding of bacterial community behaviour and will have implications in the design of materials as antimicrobials, for bioprocessing, biocomputation and, more generally, synthetic biology.

The paper, Bacteria clustering by polymers induces the expression of quorum sense controlled phenotypes, is available online on the Nature Chemistry website.

.


Related Links
University of Nottingham
Darwin Today At TerraDaily.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





FLORA AND FAUNA
Bacteria may allow animals to send quick, voluminous messages
East Lansing MI (SPX) Nov 14, 2013
Twitter clips human thoughts to a mere 140 characters. Animals' scent posts may be equally as short, relatively speaking, yet they convey an encyclopedia of information about the animals that left them. In the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a Michigan State University researcher shows that the detailed scent posts of hyenas are, in part, products of s ... read more


FLORA AND FAUNA
China to step up aid to Philippines amid controversy

Amphibious vehicles to boost Philippine aid effort

Obama calls on US to aid storm-ravaged Philippines

UN admits failings as Philippines aid effort gets into gear

FLORA AND FAUNA
Snap to attention: Polymers that react and move to light

Altering surface textures in 'counterintuitive manner' may lead to cooling efficiency gains

Methane-munching microorganisms meddle with metals

Researchers at Penn Add Another Tool in Their Directed Assembly Toolkit

FLORA AND FAUNA
VC predicts the motion of the ocean

Discovery of 'missing heat' prompts new estimates of global warming

Saving our fish needs more than a ban on discarding

Rising sea levels could inundate islands, with loss of biodiversity

FLORA AND FAUNA
Iceberg the size of Manhattan could threaten shipping: study

Netherlands: 'Not enough time' to stop Greenpeace's arctic activists

Russia moves detained Arctic activists to St Petersburg

Arrested Greenpeace crew 'moved' to new location

FLORA AND FAUNA
Uruguay to bar foreigners buying land

South Korea's growing 'kimchi deficit'

NGO asks EU to not buy Paraguay beef over indigenous concerns

Egypt farmers fear water supply threat from Ethiopia dam

FLORA AND FAUNA
Typhoon kills 10,000 in one Philippine city: UN

More than 5,000 flee erupting Indonesian volcano

Storm-chaser says Philippines typhoon 'off the scale'

6.6 quake hits off east coast of Russia: USGS

FLORA AND FAUNA
Five killed in Sudan friendly-fire shooting: army

Small bag offers solution to Kenyan slum's 'flying toilets'

DR Congo needs rebel reintegration plan: UN

DR Congo, M23 rebels fail to sign peace deal

FLORA AND FAUNA
Fast-mutating DNA sequences shape early development; guided evolution of uniquely human traits

Scientists tracking Brazilian wildlife find ancient cave paintings

Study: Humans made sophisticated stone tools earlier than thought

Did hard-wired fear of snakes drive evolution of human vision?




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement