Tid Bits


1. Bacteria can communicate with each other through nanotubes


Bacteria are known to communicate in nature primarily via the secretion and receipt of extracellular signaling molecules. This communication enables bacteria to execute sophisticated tasks such as dealing with antibiotic production and secretion of virulence factors. Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem identified a previously uncharacterized type of bacterial communication mediated by nanotubes that bridge neighboring cells. These nanotubes connect bacteria of the same and different species. Via these tubes, bacteria are able to exchange small molecules, proteins and even small genetic elements (known as plasmids).The better molecular understanding of nanotube formation could lead to the development of novel strategies to fight against pathogenic bacteria



Source: www.sciencedaily.com





2. Soon, bacteria-powered light may illuminate your house




Glowing bioluminescent bacteria


Researchers in a leading electronic company has come up with a more greener and power-efficient lighting system, which will use glowing bioluminescent bacteria to illuminate your house. The bioluminescent bacteria, which flourishes on waste generated in the average home, is housed in hand-blown glass cells, clustered together to form a lamp. Each cell is joined to the lamp’s reservoir base by thin silicon tubes that pipe methane gas from composted bathroom solids and vegetable scraps via a kitchen dodad that digests bio-waste. Till the time proper nutrients are supplied, the bio-light’s living bacteria can be powered indefinitely. Although the light is not bright enough to fully replace conventional lighting, it does make people conscious of household forms of wasted energy that could be tapped.



Source: Indian Express, November 29, 2011.







ENVIS CENTRE Newsletter Vol.9, Issue 4, Oct - Dec 2011
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