Creating the colours of the rainbow: Bacteria and the vibrant world of pigments
Bacteria World
by Sarah
6M ago
The world around us is colourful. Wherever you look, you see various colours of different shades and hues. And only thanks to pigments, life on Earth is possible. Pigments were the first molecules that microbes used to harvest sunlight. Microbes could then transform the light energy into chemical energy and produce oxygen. Even the brown-reddish haemoglobin in your blood is an essential pigment as it transports oxygen within your body. Also for bacteria, pigments and their colours have life-saving functions. Here, we will look at how biopigments colour the bacterial world and what bacteria gai ..read more
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How Bacterial Research Is Advancing Modern Science
Bacteria World
by Sarah
1y ago
Microbiology is the study of microscopic organisms, such as bacteria, viruses and fungi. It incorporates many areas of our everyday lives, in food production, genetic engineering and the cure and prevention of diseases. In fact, it’s through microbiological research that antibiotics were discovered and are safe to administer to patients across the globe. Below are a few ways how bacterial research is and continues to make advancements in modern science. Treatment Courses Microbiologists working in diagnostic laboratories perform tests on samples which come from either humans or animals.   ..read more
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Even at the dark and cold bottom of the sea, microbes flourish
Bacteria World
by Sarah
2y ago
Wherever you look, a microbe has likely been there before. Even in places where you don’t expect anything to grow, you’ll probably find some cool microbes that call this place their home. And some of these microbes learned to adapt to these special – or extreme – conditions. They can’t even cope in normal environments. Extreme conditions or extreme environments can be anything that we consider uninhabitable for us. This can be extremely high or low temperatures, extremely high or low pressure, radiation or toxicity. Some of these microbes actually love the extremes. And these so-called extremo ..read more
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How bacteria in your gut microbiome defend pathogens
Bacteria World
by Sarah
2y ago
Microbes are all over your body and especially the bacteria in your gut keep you healthy. They help you digest food, strengthen your immune system and protect you from pathogenic gut bacteria. Those bacteria that call your gut their home are the so-called commensal bacteria. Luckily, they have a special superpower: They can protect us from bacteria that cause infections and make us sick. For this, our commensal gut bacteria developed some extraordinary strategies to defend these pathogens. So, by nurturing our friendly gut bacteria, you are also strengthening your protection against diseases ..read more
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How bacteria gain energy from cellular respiration to fuel life
Bacteria World
by Sarah
2y ago
All living organisms need energy. Energy to grow, to move, to fight, to produce stuff and also to reproduce. Generally, living organisms get this energy from food. It fuels us, just as it fuels animals, plants and bacteria. But where exactly is this energy in food? How do bacteria and other living organisms access this energy? And what do they do if their favourite food is not around? To answer these questions, let’s look at how molecules store energy. How do living organisms gain energy? Each chemical bond between atoms contains energy. Hence, a molecule that is made of many atoms and thus ma ..read more
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Bacterial killer weapons as biocontrol to protect plants
Bacteria World
by Sarah
2y ago
Our planet is overgrowing with people that want to be fed. And more and more people become aware that a plant-based diet is not only better for your health, but also for our planet. Hence, the focus on agriculture right now is to become more sustainable to grow enough plant-based food for everyone. This means that we need to find better ways to support plant growth and protect plants from diseases. Unfortunately, several plants pathogens make plants sick, so they die or do not grow enough crops. Currently, we use fertilizers and pesticides to protect plants from pathogens. However, these chemi ..read more
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Bacteria use antibiotics to kill their foes and protect others
Bacteria World
by Sarah
2y ago
Antibiotics – we use them to kill harmful bacteria or fungi when we’re sick. Yet, antibiotics are actually produced by bacteria and fungi in the first place. But what do bacteria and fungi use antibiotics for? Why do they produce them? And what are the advantages of microbes having antibiotics as molecular weapons? What are antibiotics? The father of antibiotics, Selman Waksman, first used the word antibiotics for any small molecule made by a microbe that can inhibit the growth of other microbes. So, microbes – especially bacteria and fungi – use antibiotics to kill other microbes. These other ..read more
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Floating veils for large bacteria to attach to and fetch nutrients
Bacteria World
by Sarah
2y ago
Every living organism needs to eat. Humans, animals and also bacteria. And when it comes to the size of an organism, one thing is quite clear: The bigger, the more food they need. This is also true for bacteria. Depending on the shape of a bacterium, bacterial cells are differently big or small. And the bigger a bacterium is, the more energy they need. So, in a location where there is not much food, this might be a problem. Not for superhero bacterium Thiovulum majus. This one is a huge bacterium with an incredibly amazing mechanism to find and get food for itself and its brothers and sisters ..read more
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Looking fabulous: Why bacteria need to stay in shape too
Bacteria World
by Sarah
2y ago
When scientists first used microscopes to look at microorganisms and bacteria, they did not know what they were seeing. They could only describe the shapes of these tiny organisms. So, they talked of cocci and bacilli based on the spheres and rods that they saw under the microscope. And they classified microbes and bacteria based on these shapes. It came only with later, modern technologies that scientists learned that there was more to bacteria than their shapes. Even though bacteria looked similar, they had different superpowers. Yet, some of these bacterial superpowers are indeed influenced ..read more
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Wolbachia bacteria in mosquitos protect us from nasty viruses
Bacteria World
by Sarah
2y ago
The microbial world is highly connected within itself and with its surrounding. Viruses infect bacteria, plants, animals or humans. Bacteria fight off viruses, but can also live within plants, animals and humans. And while both viruses and bacteria can live within the same plant, animal or the human body – the so-called host – they can have completely different impacts on them. A virus infection always has negative effects on the host. In comparison, the interactions between bacteria and their hosts can be harmful or beneficial for both sides. While pathogenic bacteria harm their hosts, the ho ..read more
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