HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
A closer look yields new clues to why bacteria stick to things

A bacterium's ability to change its hairstyle may help in the effort to clean contaminated groundwater for drinking, according to Penn State researchers.

People are continually moving into places that are hot, sunny and arid where drinking water is in short supply, says R. Kramer Campen, Penn State graduate student in geosciences. "The imperative to find ways to clean groundwater is paramount," he told attendees today (March 25) at the 225th American Chemical Society national meeting in New Orleans.

In the ocean, bacteria can be released into the water to clean up oil spills, carried to the target by the same currents that transport the oil. Groundwater poses a more difficult problem as these single-cell organisms tend to adhere to certain minerals in the soil preventing them from following the pollutant's trail. Bacterial adhesion is also responsible for many medical problems such as tooth decay and artificial limb and organ rejection. "There is a growing awareness that you need a molecular level understanding," says Campen. "At that level, the processes that cause a bacterium to adhere to a mineral in soil or to a tooth have to be the same."

For many years, scientists have noted that bacteria stick to iron particles in soil, but not to sand grains. Until recently, this has been explained by invoking the same forces that hold a balloon to the ceiling after you rub it on your sweater. Researchers thought that the tiny, negative electrical charges on sand grains repelled the negatively charged bacteria, while the positively charged iron attracted them.

However, Campen and his adviser, James Kubicki, assistant professor of geosciences, think it is all about the hair. Bacteria are covered with atomic-scale chains of complex sugar molecules with "one end fastened into the cell membrane and the rest extending outward," explains Campen. "The hair analogy is a good one."

The hairs, actually polymers, present a problem for the charge-based e
'"/>

Contact: A'ndrea Elyse Messer
aem1@psu.edu
814-865-9581
Penn State
25-Mar-2003


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. New diagnostic tool brings effective treatment closer to patients
2. Researchers one step closer to Holy Grail of neurobiology
3. Getting closer
4. Neural stem cells take a step closer to the clinic
5. Technique brings immune-based therapies closer to reality
6. Dartmouth engineers closer to mass-producing therapeutic proteins
7. Crash in male saiga antelope numbers drives species closer to extinction
8. Researchers closer to defining function of two proteins involved in neurotransmitter release
9. A closer look at the genomes black holes
10. New mighty mice research brings muscle growth closer to reality
11. Hormone the trigger for fat metabolism; scientists closer to tests in humans

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: closer look yields new clues why bacteria stick things

(Date:10/14/2014)... (Oct. 14, 2014)—It,s been millions of years since ... team led by Ohio University scientists is breathing life ... airflow through dinosaur snouts. The research has important implications ... breathe but to enhance the sense of smell and ... animals," said Ohio University doctoral student Jason Bourke, lead ...
(Date:10/14/2014)... new kind of stem cell that can become either a ... according to a study published today in the journal ... type contradicts current theory on how organs arise from cell ... of, and future treatment for, liver cancer., Thanks to stem ... being made up of more than 200 cell types. The ...
(Date:10/14/2014)... MA – A team of scientists led by ... (UMMS) and the University of Miami Miller School ... a key genetic pathway underlying bipolar (manic depressive) ... drugs for treating bipolar affective disorder, as well ... The new findings, published online this week in ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Dinosaur breathing study shows that noses enhanced smelling and cooled brain 2Dinosaur breathing study shows that noses enhanced smelling and cooled brain 3Stem cell discovery challenges dogma on how fetus develops; holds insights for liver cancer and reg 2Stem cell discovery challenges dogma on how fetus develops; holds insights for liver cancer and reg 3Rare genetic disease protects against bipolar disorder 2Rare genetic disease protects against bipolar disorder 3
(Date:10/20/2014)... -- GenVec, Inc. (NASDAQ: GNVC ) today announced the ... board of directors effective on October 24, 2014.   Dr. Horovitz ... its chairman from June 2006 to November 2013.  During his ... and Audit Committees of the board.  "We ... service to GenVec, and its stockholders," said Wayne T. ...
(Date:10/20/2014)... Earle Martin , Chief Executive ... Ellen Teplitzky, an experienced attorney specializing in business ... has joined the firm as Director of Legal ... NDA Partners provides legal services, including research, ... top law firms and their clients in cases ...
(Date:10/19/2014)... 20, 2014 OCTOBER 20-22, ... (ABIM). ABIM will take place at ... about ABIM 2014 is now available at ... representing companies and organizations from all over ... information on the latest products and developments ...
(Date:10/19/2014)... October 19, 2014 The Asian Automatic ... Asian with analysis and forecast of revenue. The Automatic ... to around $463.9 million by 2018, at a developing ... through the TOC of the Asian Automatic patient billing ... provided. This also provides a glimpse of the segmentation ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Zola P. Horovitz To Retire From GenVec Board 2NDA Partners Appoints Ellen Teplitzky, JD as Director of its Legal Services Practice 2The Asian Automatic patient billing market is estimated to grow to around $463.9 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 2The Asian Automatic patient billing market is estimated to grow to around $463.9 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 3
Cached News: