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:


(Date:2/22/2017)... LONDON , Feb. 22, 2017 ... by 2021, ABI Research identifies four technologies that ... solutions to secure significant share in the changing ... payments, and passive authentication.   "Companies ... it comes to security," says Dimitrios Pavlakis ...
(Date:2/13/2017)... 2017  RSA Conference -- RSA, a Dell Technologies ... to enhance fraud detection and investigation across digital ... Fraud & Risk Intelligence Suite. The new platform ... insights from internal and external sources as well ... customers from targeted cybercrime attacks. "Fraudsters ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... (NASDAQ: AWRE ), a leading supplier of biometrics ... and year ended December 31, 2016. Revenue ... to $6.9 million in the same quarter last year. Operating ... compared to $2.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. ... million, or $0.02 per diluted share, which compares to $1.8 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/1/2017)... 2017  Elizabeth Young and Joshua Rosenthal , ... Washington University,s Health Workforce Speaker series. http://bit.ly/2lA6C8B ... will be speaking on March 9, 2017 at the ... Washington, DC at 12:00pm. The ... renowned speakers to examine new workforce configurations, their outcomes ...
(Date:2/28/2017)... ... February 28, 2017 , ... ... Inc. (Newark, DE) have formed a strategic partnership to develop and market ... renewable energy laboratories. These automated testing solutions will save analysis time and ...
(Date:2/28/2017)... and REYKJAVIK, Iceland , Feb. ... AppTec group company and the contract genomics organization enabling ... officer Hannes Smarason has been appointed as the company,s chief ... Long and Alex Fowkes have been named ... "WuXi NextCODE is executing on its vision to enable ...
(Date:2/28/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 28, 2017 , ... ... to their function as well as to their processing and transport properties. With ... on a wide variety of samples. The Litesizerâ„¢ 100 gives rapid and accurate ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: