Bacteria or chameleon?

2002/08/12 Carton Virto, Eider - Elhuyar Zientzia

Bacteria, in general, usually have a cover, a special wall that protects internal structures. And its components and structure condition the behavior of each bacteria. The molecules in this wall limit antibiotic resistance, sensitivity to viruses or attacks of the immune system or the maximum temperature, pressure and acidity they can withstand.

Normally these molecules are selected by the bacteria, but not always because Japanese researchers have managed to synthesize E. coli bacteria that remain under ultraviolet light. The molecules used by E. coli bacteria to build the outer wall have been incorporated into fluorescent molecules and placed into the culture along with the bacteria that were growing. Result: healthy bacteria with fluorescent cover.

According to researchers, such research can have many applications. To begin with, they believe they can develop the method of separating bacteria through covers of 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, published in the journal Journal of the American Chemical Society, has been collected in the journal Nature on its website.