Bacteria or chameleon?

2002/10/01 Elhuyar Zientzia Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria

The bacteria protect the internal structures through a special wall, whose components condition the behavior of each bacterium. For example, antibiotic resistance, sensitivity to immune system attacks, or maximum temperature, pressure, and acidity can withstand.

Therefore, it would be very interesting to control the structure of this wall. Japanese researchers have taken a step on this path. The molecules used by the E. coli bacteria to build their walls have been incorporated into the fluorescent molecules and placed in the culture. Result: healthy bacteria with fluorescent cover. Looking at the applications, researchers believe that they can develop a method of separation of bacteria by covering different colors, but they have also given more examples.

For example, bacteria can be used to test new drugs by placing lids similar to human cells, or they can be used in vaccines disguised as pathogen. The research has been published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.